Lo­cal util­ity com­pa­nies warn cus­tomers of scams

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By BRI­ANNA SHEA

ELK­TON

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— As part of a na­tion­wide aware­ness cam­paign, Elk­ton Gas and Del­marva Power are join­ing with util­ity com­pa­nies across the coun­try to warn cus­tomers of scams and give tips on how to avoid be­ing scammed.

The Util­i­ties United Against Scams col­lab­o­ra­tion, which in­cludes both com­pa­nies, des­ig­nated Nov. 16 as “Util­i­ties United Against Scams Day.” The day is sup­ported by a week­long cam­paign which is fo­cused on tac­tics scam­mers use to steal money from cus­tomers and how cus­tomers can pro­tect them­selves.

Ac­cord­ing to Elk­ton Gas, one pop­u­lar scam in­volves a cus­tomer re­ceiv­ing an un­so­licited phone call from an in­di­vid­ual falsely claim­ing to be a com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tive, who warns the cus­tomer that their ser­vice will be shut off if a pay­ment is not made within a short time. Scam­mers also have the ca­pa­bil­ity to copy a com­pany’s In­ter­ac­tive Voice Re­sponse sys­tem, so when a cus­tomer calls the phone num­ber back, it ap­pears le­git­i­mate. Some scam­mers also use caller ID spoof­ing to repli­cate a com­pany’s cus­tomer ser­vice phone num­ber, ac­cord­ing to the gas com­pany.

When try­ing to iden­tify scam­mers, some tell-tale signs are if the caller be­comes an­gry and tells the cus­tomer they have to make the pay­ment within an hour or the ser­vice will be dis­con­nected; if the scam­mer ad­vises the cus­tomer to pur­chase a pre­paid card and call back to make a pay­ment; and if the scam­mer asks the cus­tomer for the pre­paid card’s re­ceipt num­ber and PIN num­ber, Elk­ton Gas ad­vises.

If a cus­tomer sus­pects or ex­pe­ri­ences fraud, or feels threat­ened dur­ing an in­ter­ac­tion with an in­di­vid­ual pos­ing as a com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tive, they should con­tact lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and then Elk­ton Gas’s cus­tomer care cen­ter at 1-866-281-6483. Those who use Del­marva should call their cus­tomer ser­vice phone num­ber at 1-800-375-7117.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.elk­ton­gas.com or www. del­marva.com/storm/ or fol­low them on so­cial me­dia.

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