Impersonators take advantage of hectic schedules to steal money and personal information
Media Alert: ComEd can make company representatives available for interviews to share scam-awareness tips for Utility Scam Awareness Day, Wednesday, Nov. 16.
In advance of Utility Scam Awareness Day, which is Wednesday, Nov. 16, ComEd urges families and businesses to be on the lookout for impersonators looking to steal money and information from unsuspecting individuals.
Scammers posing as ComEd employees will call homes and businesses from a number that appears to be from ComEd and threaten to turn off electric service unless payment is made to a bogus website or phone number. Sometimes imposters will visit in person to collect personal information that can be used to steal identities or access bank accounts.
“During the holidays, scammers and imposters will up their game… knowing people are busier, distracted with holiday plans and paying less attention to their spending and bill-paying habits,” said Nichole Owens, ComEd vice president of customer channels. “The best defense against scams is knowing what to look for and sharing scam-awareness tips with family and friends.”
Adds Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau, and a strategic partner with ComEd in raising awareness of utility scams: “Fraudsters use fear and distraction to trick their victims. They put the fear in people that they may lose their electricity during the holidays as well as the coldest of winter months and peak summer heat. We always see a spike in these reports to the BBB Scamtracker when staying warm or cool is most important, and your well-being may depend on it.”
Tips to Help Identify Scams
ComEd will never call or visit your home or business to:
- ask for direct payment with a prepaid cash card, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, or third-party payment app like Cash App, QuickPay, Venmo or Zelle;
- demand immediate payment; or
- ask for personal information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number of bank information; we also will not ask for your ComEd account number unless you contact us first to enroll in a program or service.
Tips to Help Identify a True ComEd Employee
- All ComEd field employees wear a uniform with the ComEd logo and visibly display a company ID badge with the logo and employee’s name.
- ComEd recently changed its logo, so customers may continue to see the former ComEd logo on uniforms, badges and vehicles until the logo is phased out.
- If customers are ever unsure about whether a person knocking at their door is a true ComEd employee, they are encouraged to close and lock their door, and call ComEd from a trusted phone number – which is 800-EDISON1 (800-334-7661). A true ComEd employee will not mind waiting.
Assistance With Past-Due Balances
Scammers sometimes find success with individuals and businesses who may be behind in their bills and pressure them into sending immediate payment. For anyone facing difficulty paying their electric bill, ComEd offers a number of payment assistance programs to help customers avoid late notices and disconnection. For information, visit ComEd.com/PaymentAssistance.
To make it easier for customers to find ways to pay electric bills and energy-saving tips, ComEd offers its Smart Assistance Manager (SAM), an online self-service tool that can match customers with payment-assistance programs and energy-efficiency offerings to help them manage their electric bills now and into the future.
ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the U.S. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221114005976/en/
ComEd Media Relations