ComEd is warning customers to be on alert after the company has seen increased reports of scam artists claiming to be ComEd representatives asking for payment from customers.
The company said it has seen an increase in reports over the last few weeks of customers receiving calls from fake representatives who threaten to disconnect accounts if the customers don’t pay.
They tell the individuals to buy a prepaid credit card and call them back with a personal identification number, ComEd said in a release. Some customers say the callers claim their billing cycle has changed, or that an account is past due and others say the callers claim their previous payment was not accepted or processed.
“ComEd wants to protect all of its customers from these types of deceptive schemes,” Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations for ComEd, said in a statement. “ComEd will never ask a customer to purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on a bill.”
The Illinois Commerce Commission is advising customers that in most cases utility companies 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.
ComEd is reminding customers that representatives from ComEd carry identification and never ask customers for cash or personal financial information.
The energy company also said customers that are scheduled for disconnection due to a past due balance will receive an automated phone call days prior the disconnection stating the amount owed to avoid service interruption. Additionally, through mail, customers will receive a hard-copy disconnection notice in compliance with the Illinois Administrative Code.
People that believe they have been a target of a phone scam are urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office at (800) 386-5438 or visit the Illinois Attorney General’s web site and click on the “Protecting Consumers” link.