The Citizen Utility Board of Illinois is warning consumers against a malicious scam.
Watchdogs from the good-consumer group say scammers dressed as Commonwealth Edison workers have been going door to door or calling homes in Illinois communities asking residents to purchase a between $200 and $900 prepaid credit card or else their utilities will be terminated.
CUB says their office has received numerous calls on the scam. They recommend taking a few steps to protect yourself agains malicious utility scammers.
- Don’t give out financial or account information. Utility employees will never ask you for this.
- Ask for ID. Find out exactly who you’re speaking with.
- Call your utility. The company can verify if an employee has called or been dispatched to your home.
Commonwealth Edison is aware of the scam and asks its customer to also exercise caution.
“ComEd wants to protect its customers from these types of schemes. ComEd will never ask a customer to purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on a bill,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations for ComEd. “If customers have concerns about the status of their account, they can call us at 1-800-EDISON1 and a representative will be happy to review the account.”
According to a release from ComEd, the Illinois Commerce Commission has also received similar complaints from ComEd customers. The ICC says in most cases utilities are required to provide advance notice prior to disconnection of service and when in doubt customers should call the utility or visit its website to verify their account status and the utility’s authorized payment methods.
People that believe they have been a phone scam target are 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."
On Monday, NBC 5 Investigates brought you reporting on another scam in Illinois. Scammers are standing by to answer when you misdial a number.