"Utility imposter scams are despicable for two reasons: They take advantage of our fear of losing a service we can't do without, and they slander the reputation of the honest, hard-working, front-line utility employees who keep our service running on a daily basis," CUB Communications Director Jim Chilsen said. "As with any scam, good education and a strong community response are the best weapons against these con artists. Get the facts, protect yourself, and spread the word in your neighborhood: Utility workers don't go door-to-door or call you seeking private financial information."Anyone who believes he or she has been a target of a phone scam is urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General's office toll free at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013) or visit the Illinois Attorney General's web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and click on the link "Protecting Consumers." Don't Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
- Never provide social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility providers.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- When in doubt, check it out. Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID.
- Never make payment for services to anyone coming to the door.
- If customers have concerns about the status of their account, they can also contact their local utility providers:
- ComEd 1-800-EDISON1
- Nicor Gas 1-888-NICOR4U
- Peoples Gas 866-556-6001
- North Shore Gas 866-556-6004