CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd is warning customers to be on the alert for scam artists claiming to be a ComEd representative seeking payment.
Over the last few weeks, the company has seen an increase in reports of individuals calling customers claiming to be ComEd representatives and telling the customer their service will be disconnected unless payment is made. They instruct the individual to buy a prepaid credit card and call them back with the personal identification number (PIN). Variations of the scam include stories that the customer's billing cycle has changed and payment is needed immediately, or that the account is past due and immediate payment is required to avoid immediate disconnection, or that the customer's previous payments were not accepted or processed.
"ComEd wants to protect its customers from these types of schemes. ComEd will never ask a customer to purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment on a bill," said Val Jensen, senior vice president of Customer Operations for ComEd. "If customers have concerns about the status of their account, they can call us at 1-800-EDISON1 and a representative will be happy to review the account."
The Illinois Commerce Commission has also received similar complaints from ComEd customers. The ICC is advising customers that in most cases utilities are required to provide advance notice prior to disconnection of service and when in doubt customers should call the utility or visit its website to verify their account status and the utility's authorized payment methods.
People that believe they have been a phone scam target are 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".
ComEd reminds its customers that scammers may call or come to your home. Representatives from ComEd always carry proper identification and never ask customers for cash or personal financial information. Customers can verify if a ComEd worker is in the area or whether a caller is an employee by calling 1-800-EDISON1. Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
- Never provide your social security or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a ComEd representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than ComEd.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- Be skeptical of individuals wearing clothing with old or defaced company logos. If you have any doubts, ask to see a company photo ID. If you are at all concerned or suspicious that the individual may not be from ComEd, call 1-800-EDISON1 to verify or call your local law enforcement agency or the Attorney General's Office to file a complaint.
- Never make payment for services to anyone coming to your door.
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.