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Con Edison reminds its customers to beware of scammers and the methods and lies they use to trick them into giving up their money.
The company is among more than 150 U.S. and Canadian energy and water companies that are marking International Fraud Awareness Week by providing information on how customers can avoid being scammed. (Hear a podcast on how Con Edison customers can avoid being scammed.)
The companies are members of Utilities United Against Scams, which has declared Wednesday to be Utility Scam Awareness Day.
Scammers contact Con Edison customers every day and tell them they must make an immediate payment to avoid a service turnoff.
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Any customer who is asked to make an immediate payment to avoid a service turnoff should regard that as a scam. Con Edison does not contact customers and demand immediate payment.
Here are some common scams that target residential and business customers in New York City and Westchester County:
- Scammers call customers and instruct them to buy a pre-paid card. These callers sometimes point the customer to a store that sells pre-paid cards. Once the customer puts money on the card and provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money. Con Edison does not accept payment by pre-paid debit cards, MoneyGram or similar transfers.
- Scammers contact customers and demand payment via apps like Cash App, Venmo and Zelle. Con Edison does not support these platforms for payment. The company also does not accept payment via Paypal or bitcoin.
- Some impostors who knock on a residential customer's door try to talk their way inside to steal or even commit an assault. Con Edison urges customers to ask anyone who claims to be from the company to show a company ID. If you are still unsure whether the person is from Con Edison, call 1-800-75-CONED to check.
Customers should never provide callers with personal information, such as social security numbers. Anyone who thinks they have been the target of a scam should call their local police department.
Scammers who call customers by phone can even make a Con Edison phone number appear on a customer's caller ID display.
When a customer gives money to a scammer, the scammer will often claim that the payment did not go through and demand another payment. The company has gotten reports of customers providing multiple payments totaling thousands of dollars to scammers.
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Con Edison's website offers approved options for bill payment.
Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. [NYSE: ED], one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $14 billion in annual revenues and $66 billion in assets. The utility delivers electricity, natural gas and steam, and serves 3.5 million customers in New York City and Westchester County. Through Consolidated Edison Inc.'s subsidiary, Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, the company is the second largest owner of solar electric projects in North America. For financial, operations and customer service information, visit conEd.com. For energy efficiency information, visit coned.com/energyefficiency. Also, visit us on Twitter and Facebook.
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