MONROE, CT — A local man received a phone call from someone claiming to be from Eversource, telling him he owed the utility company a total of $784 on his account.
Using a payment app, police said the man made two payments of $392 each. Then he called Eversource and a representative told him it was a scam that has victimized a number of their customers.
The Monroe Police Department’s Detective Division is investigating the incident.
Eversource says scams are on the rise and the utility company encourages its customers to be vigilant.
“The classic utility scam typically involves a caller threatening to disconnect a customer’s electric or gas service because of an unpaid bill and demanding immediate payment,” according to an article on Eversource’s website.
“We continually send reminders via social media, bill messages, news releases and other means regarding these types of calls,” Mitch Gross, a spokesman for Eversource, told The Sun Friday.
Gross said some of the common signs and specific pandemic-related scams to look out for include:
- Threats of immediate power disconnection or demands for payment: We never ask for instant payment. Don’t panic and don’t pay!
- Callers asking for personal or account information or insisting on specific, unusual payment methods: We never ask for personal information over the phone and we do not accept payments via gift cards, pre-paid debit cards or other common tools used by scammers.
- Requests for a deposit to exchange a utility meter: Meters do not suddenly expire, so be wary of calls claiming payment is necessary for a new meter to be installed because the current meter is about to expire.
“Call us anytime if you have a question about your account – the customer service number is on your utility bill,” Gross said.
Customers who receive a suspicious phone call or home visit should contact their local law enforcement. Gross said never to give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller. Concerned customers can also report scams and fraudulent activity by calling the Connecticut Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420, he said.
Helpful information on scams can be found on Eversource’s website.