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There’s a hot, new scandal happening in the utility industry that you’re going to want to avoid.  Customers across the country are reporting utility imposters who try to forcefully clean out their bank accounts.  Dangling the threat of shutting off gas and electric if immediate payment is not received, these scammers are posing as legitimate utility companies, making it difficult for customers to tell the difference.

One particular scam involves convincing customers that their electricity is scheduled to be shut off unless they purchase a “Green Dot” Visa credit card over the phone.  The callers claim to be legitimate utility workers, but rob the innocent customers once they provide their financial information.

Utilities such as San Diego Gas and ElectricNational Grid, and Baltimore Gas and Electric have been issuing advice on how customers can protect themselves against these imposters.  So unless you want to fork over a chunk of change to a complete stranger, we recommend reviewing the following tips:

IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS EMAIL FROM YOUR UTILITY…

  • Do not click on any of the links.
  • Do not open any attachments.
  • Do not reply to the email.
  • Delete the email as soon as possible and contact your utility’s customer service line directly.

IF YOU RECEIVE A STRANGE PHONE CALL FROM YOUR UTILITY…

  • Ask for the person to recite your account number, the name on the account, and your address back to you. If he is unable to confirm your information...

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