ComEd Customer Scam Alert
ComEd recently has seen an increase in reports of individuals posing as utility workers and making fraudulent claims to customers through door-to-door visits and phone calls. More than 80% of the reported scams in the last 30 days have targeted small businesses. Scammers are requesting funds between $100 and $300 from residential customers and $1,000 to $1,600 from small businesses.
With the door-to-door scams, someone impersonating a utility worker will visit the customer and try to obtain personal and/or financial account information and, in some cases, even enter into the customer’s home. ComEd reminds customers that representatives from the company always carry proper identification and never ask customers for cash or personal financial information.
Variations of the phone scam include stories that the customer’s billing cycle has changed and payment is needed immediately; the account is past due and immediate payment is required to avoid disconnection of service; or that the customer’s previous payments were not accepted or processed. The scammers instruct customers to buy a prepaid credit card and direct them to call back with the personal identification number (PIN). ComEd will never call you to ask for cash or request that you purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on your bill. If you have concerns about the status of your account, call ComEd's customer service line at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON1).
Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs, ComEd says, “We want our customers to be informed and avoid becoming victims to this type of scam. If customers are ever unsure about the authenticity of a utility worker at their door or over the phone, they should contact ComEd or the police immediately.”
Anyone who believes he or she has been a target of a phone scam is urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office toll free at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013) or visit the Illinois Attorney General’s web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and click on the link “Protecting Consumers.”
Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few additional precautions:
* Never provide social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
* Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
* Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
* Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.