ILLINOIS (CUB) -- The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) issued a consumer alert on Thursday warning Commonwealth Edison (Com-Ed) customers about a growing scam in which con artists posing as utility workers call or visit consumers’ homes and demand quick payment to avoid a service shutoff.
Scammers instruct consumers to purchase a prepaid credit card ranging from $200 to $900, and to call them back with the card’s personal identification number (PIN).
“ComEd customers should be on high alert for scams and rip-offs,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Be skeptical anytime a person calls or knocks on your door claiming to be from the utility, and call the company at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661) to verify exactly who you’re speaking with.”
To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, CUB advised consumers to:
* Avoid giving out financial or account information. Utility employees will never initiate contact with you to request this information.
* Ask for identification. Utility employees carry a company photo ID.
* Call your utility. ComEd, at 1-800-EDISON1, can verify if an employee has called or been dispatched to your home, and can update you on your account status.
Consumers who believe they have been a target of a phone scam should contact the Illinois Attorney General’s office toll free at 1-800-386-5438.
CUB is Illinois' leading nonprofit utility watchdog organization. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, CUB has saved consumers more than $10 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure consumer refunds. For more information, call CUB's Consumer Hotline, at 1-800-669-5556, or visit CUB’s award-winning website, at www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.