CHICAGO (WIFR) -- As ComEd continues to deploy more than four million smart meters for customers, they are warning customers to be on the alert for scam artists seeking a deposit payment before a smart meter can be installed. There is no such requirement as part of the smart meter deployment process.
This latest scam follows other reported attempts to deceive customers by claiming to be representatives of ComEd. These other scam attempts, sometimes conducted door-to-door, include variations of telling customers that: their service will be disconnected unless payment is made; the billing cycle has changed and payment is needed immediately; the account is past due and immediate payment is required to avoid disconnection; and that previous payments were not accepted or processed. The scam artists request these “payments” in a variety of forms, including instructing customers to buy a prepaid credit card and call back with the personal identification number (PIN).
“ComEd wants to protect its customers from these types of illegal schemes,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations for ComEd. “ComEd will never ask a customer for a prepayment prior to a smart meter installation, just as we would never request our customers to purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on a bill.”
Jensen urges any customers who would like to check or have questions about the status of their account to call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1. A ComEd representative can review the account and answer any questions customers may have.
People that believe they have been a 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.”
ComEd reminds its customers that scammers may call or come to your home. Representatives from ComEd always carry proper identification and never ask customers for cash or personal financial information. Customers can help avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
• Never provide your social security number, personal information or payment to anyone initiating in-person contact with you claiming to be a ComEd representative and never send money or information to another person or entity other than to ComEd at the address provided on your billing statement.
• Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
• Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. Again, always ask to see a company photo ID.
• Never make payment for services to anyone coming to your door.