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South Orange Police Department Warns of Electric Company 'Power Shut Off' Scams


The following is from the South Orange Police Department's Facebook page

Electric company "power shut off" scams have been making their way through town. Please read the following for important information and as always share this to help spread the word. Questions can be directed to Sgt. A Acevedo at 973-763-3000 ext 7802:

Power Shut Off Scams

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Caller demands immediate payment 
AKA: Pre-Paid Debit Card Payment Scam, Green Dot, Money Gram or Western Union scam

In this widespread scam, which frequently targets small businesses, a telephone caller poses as an electric utility company employee. The caller threatens to shut off the customer’s power unless an immediate payment is made. In many cases, the customer is told to use a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot/MoneyPak card, or a money transfer service like Money Gram or Western Union.

In at least one case, the victim was directed to pay in person at a physical location. In some cases individuals posing as utility workers have also appeared on site, threatening to shut off power.

The facts:

  • If your account is past due, you will receive a written notice of your account status, with instructions on how to avoid disconnection of service. 
  • While a representative may call a customer whose bill is in arrears in order to remind them that a payment is due, the representative would explain how a payment can be made using established payment options. They will not demand payment over the phone, in person, or at a particular physical location.
  • Utilities do not accept prepaid debit cards or wire transfers as payment, and our representatives will not demand your bank information or credit card number over the phone.

What should you do:

  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately. 
  • Be aware that scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to misrepresent the source of a phone call, or provide you with a fake "verification" phone number. These call-back numbers may even include exact replicas of company greetings and hold messaging. If you would like to verify your account status, always call your provider's Customer Service department using the numbers on their website, or log in to your account on their website. 

If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, please contact us immediately.


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March 16, 2018

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Adult Arrest/Shoplifting - William Minitee, a 45 year old Irvington resident was arrested on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 12:40 p.m. for shoplifting. Security officers at the Stop & Shop on Valley Street observed Minitee conceal several items on his person and then flee the store without paying for the items. Officers stopped a subject ...

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Upcoming Events


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

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Education Home & Garden

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Columbia High School Black Box Theatre, Maplewood

Janet Mandel: Vincent Van Gogh: After Arles

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Bow Tie South Orange Cinemas, South Orange

18th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival

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Fri, March 23, 7:00 PM

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