Be Vigilant and Report Scamming Attempts
PECO is asking municipal leaders to inform your constituents of a scamming attempt that is targeting utility customers across the country.
As part of the scam, customers are being contacted and told that their account is in arrears and they will have their service terminated if they do not make immediate payment. The scammer tells the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit card, in random amounts, from a local pharmacy or convenience store. The customer is then directed to contact a number to utilize the card for immediate payment to their account. Once the information is provided to the scammer, the funds on the card are removed.
So far this year, more than 750 customers have reported to PECO that they have been contacted by someone attempting this scam. More than 330 of these incidents were reported in June alone.
PECO will always contact customers directly before terminating service. Customers will receive a notice 10 days prior to termination, followed by a second notice 72 hours in advance. We will also contact customers by phone within 24to 48 hours before service is shut off.
Since scammers began contacting PECO customers in late 2011, PECO’s security department has worked closely with local police throughout the Philadelphia region to investigate more than 1,200 instances of scamming in the PECO service territory.
PECO offers these tips for customers to help avoid scams: If customers receive a call from someone stating they are calling to collect a bill payment for PECO, the caller should be able to provide specific information including:
- Account name
- Account address
- Account number
- Amount of current balance.
If the caller cannot provide this information, it is likely the call is not coming from PECO. In this case, customers should not provide any information, and call the company immediately at 1-800-494-4000 to report the situation.
Customers should never provide your social security number, or banking or credit card information via the phone, unless they have initiated the call.
Customers should not provide anyone access to your home who claims to be from PECO, or a contractor working for PECO, unless the person has proper identification. Customers can always contact the company at 1-800-494-4000 to confirm an official visit.
Finally, if customers receive a call, they should contact the local authorities and PECO.