PECO Joins National Effort To Help Protect Customers From Scammers

PECO has joined forces with electric and natural gas utility companies across the United States and Canada to help protect customers from the long-running scams targeting customers of utility service providers. PECO and its sister Exelon utilities, Atlantic City Electric, BGE, ComEd, Delmarva and Pepco are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming.

The cohort, known as Utilities United Against Scams, have designated November 16 as "Utilities United Against Scams Day." This day will be supported by a week-long campaign focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The collaborative, which includes utility member organizations such as Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association, encourages utilities to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.

"PECO is proud to join utilities across the country to partner in this important effort against scamming," said Mike Innocenzo, PECO senior vice president and chief operating officer. "We won't stop until every customer can feel safe about who is on the other end of the line, or on the other side of the door."

When being scammed, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that the customer's service will be shut off if the customer fails to make a payment - usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card.

Scammers have even duplicated the upfront Interactive Voice Response system of some utilities, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some of these scammers also use caller ID spoofing to replicate a utilities phone number.

Red flags for scam activity
  • The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn't made - usually within less than an hour.
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card - widely available at most retail stores - then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.

How to protect yourself
  • Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdraw, mail or in person.
  • Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications - never a single notification one hour before disconnection.

Don't Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
  • Never provide social security numbers 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.

Any PECO customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police, and call PECO immediately at 1-800-494-4000 to report the situation.

Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). The company's 2,500 dedicated employees provide advanced, innovative energy solutions to 1.6 million electric and more than 511,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2015 PECO delivered 86.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.5 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 8,700 local jobs and producing $732 million in labor income. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations. For more information visit PECO.com , and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter .

If you are a member of the media and would like to receive PECO news releases via email, please send your email address to PECO.Communication@exeloncorp.com .

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161116006170/en/

Copyright Business Wire 2010

More from Press Releases

NFL Pushes for Regulation Following Supreme Court's Sports Gambling Ruling

NFL Pushes for Regulation Following Supreme Court's Sports Gambling Ruling

21st Century Fox Scoops Up Local News Stations

21st Century Fox Scoops Up Local News Stations

Walmart CEO: 'We Are Transforming Globally' With Flipkart

Walmart CEO: 'We Are Transforming Globally' With Flipkart

Three-Part FREE Webinar Series

Three-Part FREE Webinar Series

March 24 Full-Day Course Offering: Professional Approach to Trading SPX

March 24 Full-Day Course Offering: Professional Approach to Trading SPX