There has been an increase in the number of scams being attempted on utility customers. Scam artists use the fear of losing power during the winter months as leverage to obtain personal information and money from unsuspecting customers.
Here are two of the biggest scams and how they work:
Pre-paid Debit Card Scam – A caller claiming to work for the utility scams customers into believing that their accounts are delinquent and services will be disconnected unless they pay immediately. They demand that the customers make a payment by purchasing a pre-paid debit card at a local convenience store and calling back to give them a receipt and PIN.
Federal Assistance Scam – This scam involves a phony program that offers assistance with utility bills in exchange for personal information like Social Security numbers. Perpetrators of these scams can contact customers by text messages, email and even social media.
Follow these tips to avoid being scammed:
• Never provide personal information over the phone unless you initiated the call
• Only send your payments to JCP&L
• Beware of calls that require immediate action
Keep in mind that scammers use technology that reflects the name and number of your local utility on the caller ID to make their scam more believable. If you are in doubt, call us using the number on your bill or the back of this newsletter. We’ll be happy to discuss your account with you.
For more information, including known scams and additional resources, visit our new Scams and Fraud webpage at www.firstenergycorp.com/scam-info.