An internet marketing executive working from home in Midtown, Manhattan got a call this week from someone saying they were Con Edison working in her building and were about to shut her power off for non-payment.
"I was like 'no, this can't be happening,'" the woman said.
She did not want to give her name, but she did want to share her story in order to warn others.
The scammers instructed her to send $900 to them using an electronic money transfer service.
When her payment didn't go through, she asked to go to the Con Edison office and pay the bill in person, but the callee told her she could not because of the coronavirus pandemic and demanded she go to a retail store and deposit the cash onto prepaid debit cards.
That's when she realized she was in the middle of a scam.
Con Edison spokesperson, Allan Drury, said the utility does not threaten immediate shutoffs demanding payment via any type of money transfer app or prepaid cash card.
Victims are being told by the scammers to wire transfer sums to cover bill balances, security deposits, and restart fees.
If you're a Con Edison customer or a customer of any other utility, you should always call the number on your bill, not a number you are given to use or that you found through an internet search.
Con Edison's number is 1-800-75-CONED.
Also, don't be fooled by caller ID as scammers can easily mask the number of both incoming and outgoing calls to appear as if they are the utility, the IRS, the police, or any other entity.
You can find more information on common scams targeting Con Edison customers on their website.
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