Cen­tral Hud­son warns of phone scam tar­get­ing cus­tomers

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS -

The Cen­tral Hud­son Gas & Elec­tric Corp. is alert­ing cus­tomers about a new scam tar­get­ing the util­ity’s cus­tomers.

This is the lat­est of many scams tak­ing place across New York and other parts of the coun­try, Charles A. Freni, a Cen­tral Hud­son ex­ec­u­tive, said in a press re­lease.

Freni said the com­pany is re­ceiv­ing re­ports of cus­tomers be­ing con­tacted by in­di­vid­u­als claim­ing to rep­re­sent the util­ity and claim­ing the cus­tomer’s ser­vice will be dis­con­nected if they fail to make an im­me­di­ate pay­ment.

The caller then di­rects the cus­tomer to pay the util­ity bill us­ing a pre­paid card pur­chased at a phar­macy or con­ve­nience store and pro­vides a tele­phone num­ber for a re­turn call, which, when reached, uti­lizes a rere­cord­ing of Cen­tral Hud­son’s up-front mes­sage.

The com­pany also warned of email scams re­quest­ing bill pay­ments and per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, as well as calls by per­sons claim­ing to rep­re­sent col­lec­tion agen­cies in an ef­fort to ob­tain credit card in­for­ma­tion.

The util­ity said it does not re­quests bill pay­ment by phone or email. Cus­tomers who get such calls are ad­vised to hang up, call Cen­tral Hud­son at (845) 452-2700 for con­fir­ma­tion, not call the scam­mer back and not click on any links in emails re­quest­ing pay­ment.

“Cus­tomers re­ceiv­ing per­sonal vis­its, calls or emails are warned not to pro­vide or ver­ify their util­ity ac­count or other per­sonal in­for­ma­tion such as credit card, So­cial Se­cu­rity or bank rout­ing num­bers,” Freni said. “If in doubt, cus­tomers should note the caller ID in­for­ma­tion, li­cense plate or email ad­dress and re­port the in­ci­dent to their lo­cal po­lice depart­ment.”

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