PECO is urging customers to be aware of a scam that is now targeting small businesses throughout the area. The scam, which previously only targeted residential customers, claims that customers are behind on their account and must make immediate payment to avoid service termination. As part of the scam, which also has been reportedly taken place throughout the country, customers are being asked to purchase a pre-paid debit card, in random amounts, from local pharmacies or convenience stores. 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. Since scammers began contacting PECO customers in late 2011, more than 85 customers report being targeted. PECO’s security department works closely with local police throughout the Philadelphia region to investigate each instance of scamming in the PECO service territory. “We want to make our customers aware of this scam so they can protect themselves from becoming victims of this and other fraudulent activities,” said Mike Melvin, PECO’s manager of Corporate Security. “We are working closely with local police to investigate any instances of scamming in our service territory so these individuals can be caught and brought to justice.” 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
- Never provide your social security number, or banking or credit card information via the phone, unless you have initiated the call.
- Never 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.