WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. If you get a phone call claiming to be from Con Edison and asking you to make a payment using a "Green Dot Money Pak," it's a scam, Con Edison says.
Hundreds of customers have fallen prey to the scam, the utility says in a statement that is also posted on the White Plains Public Safety Department website. Customers said the caller told them their service would be turned off unless they paid their bill with a pre-paid Green Dot card, Con Ed said.
"My advice is that you never accept a solicitation over the phone or the Internet," White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said. "Never ever, give your personal information over the phone, social security numbers or credit card numbers, DOB etc."
The company said it does not accept the Green Dot Money Pak, nor any payments for electric or gas bills by pre-paid debit cards.
Some customers said the callers gave a Con Edison caller ID. Some said they were told to go to a store that sells Green Dot cards and pay cash to put money on the card. Then they were told to give the card number to the person who called, customers said. At this point the, scammers steal the money on the card by transferring it to a pre-paid card and cashing that card at an ATM, Con Ed said.
Con Edison warns customers to:
Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards of any kind as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative.
In addition, Con Edison warns customers against imposters coming to their home and claiming to be from the company. Any Con Edison employee arriving at your home or business to read your meter will have a visible photo identification badge.
Feel free to ask or check for identification before allowing anyone into your home or business. If you feel the person at your door may be an imposter, you can call 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633) to check.
Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an imposter or Green Dot scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison.
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