BBB Issues Warning About Utilities Scam

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is issuing a warning on scam artists that are targeting individual consumers and businesses with the false claim that there is something wrong with their utility bills and their service is in danger of being disconnected.

The BBB has received calls from concerned consumers and businesses who state that they have received calls from someone claiming to be from either ComEd or Nicor making demands that they immediately make payment on their alleged delinquent accounts.

Whether the payment demand is allegedly for ComEd or Nicor, the callers ask that the consumers purchase a gift card or a Green Dot card and then call back with the card information to make a payment.

Jessica LaSala, Manager of the Sports Page Bar in Rockford says their business has received a number of calls from a telephone number assigned to the Pontiac, IL area. The consumers who called the BBB report that the calls came from a blocked phone number.

“If a consumer receives one of these calls they should never provide any personal or financial information to the caller” says, Dennis Horton, director of the Rockford Office of the Better Business Bureau. “Instead they should contact their utility company’s customer service department and verify that a call was made”.

Additionally, if you suspect that the call is fraudulent or you may be a victim of a scam you should contact your local police department.

Rockford Police say they've also heard reports of several more incidents involving utility scams. They are asking us to alert our loved ones, neighbors, and especially the elderly of these scams.

Police say other common scams include a caller asking you to help a family member who has been arrested in another country needing money for their release or saying you won a contest and ask for money to pay the taxes or processing a request to obtain the prepaid credit cards.

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