Fraudsters Target New York Electricity and Gas Customers: DCPOctober 26, 2021
Fraudsters who pretend to be from charities call New Yorkers, claiming that customers have a balance of account balance, asking for personal information, and demanding money, the state said.
The scammers pretended to be from New York’s electricity and gas companies and threatened to shut down customer service unless they received payment, a news report from the New York State Division of Consumer Protection and the Department of Public Service reported. The news outlet said fraudsters claimed customers had an outstanding balance, and often requested that money be sent to them through a transfer app or in the form of a gift card.
“Services provide recurring pre-termination notifications that include access to consumers through previous balances by phone to offer payment options,” the Division of Consumer Protection said in a press release. “However, the services do not specify that the payment should be a prepaid card or other non-traceable transfer. If someone demands payment unconventionally, consumers just need to pull the plug on these scams by closing the phone and reporting. Calls.”
New York DCP said consumers should “never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, birthdays, mothers’ names of girlfriends, passwords or other identifying information when answering unexpected calls or suspiciously.”
If citizens are concerned that they are in debt, the DCP said, they should call the service company directly using the number on their loan or the website of the charity. When a message arrives with a text message, the state said, do not reply.
Also, if citizens suspect a fraudster has called them, they can file a complaint to the Division of Consumer Protection here.