The New Year is in full swing and so are scams targeting utility customers across the country and right here in Connecticut.
Already this year, customers in many towns around the state have been approached by scammers, either on the phone or at their door.
“The scammers, often sounding legitimate and quite convincing, threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made,” warned Eversource Senior VP and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “These scammers can be relentless but they’re only successful if they catch our customers off-guard and scare them into making a payment. We remind customers, if something doesn’t sound right or feel right, trust your gut, and don’t pay.”
BBB has created ScamTracker, a national tracking system that provides up-to-date information on the latest scams.
The tool allows consumers to submit scam reports and see what scams are happening right in their backyard.
“One similarity in many scams, including utility scams, is a sense of urgency. Scammers often convince consumers that payment must be made immediately and that is always a red flag,” said BBB CT spokesperson Luke Frey.
Tips to help avoid becoming a victim:
- Eversource never demands instant payment over the phone. They never require the use of pre-paid debit cards or request customers meet at a payment center to make the payment.
- Never provide personal financial or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door or online, even if they seem legitimate.
- Beware, some sophisticated scammers can manipulate their caller ID to say the caller is with Eversource.
- Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive a written notice that includes information on how to maintain their service.
- Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance.
Contact Eversource directly at 1-800-286-2000 if you’re not sure whether a call, visit or offer is legitimate.
This veterinary practice was targeted by scammers! They got a call saying they were past due and if they didn’t pay immediately with a gift card they’d have their power shut down in 30 minutes. Eversource will never demand payment over the phone and never ask for a gift card.
Police say once the money is on a gift card and given scammers, it cannot be recovered.