By Tim Williams

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Two big local names with an unfortunate thing in common. Both Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and Catholic Charities are being targeted by a scam artist.

Tim Williams explains what you should look out for to avoid becoming a victim.

It’s the storm that keeps on giving– giving new problems, that is. Now, scam artists want to take from you in the wake of Maryland’s recent derecho and they’re using some well-known names to do it.

“There was a posting on Craigslist asking individuals who wanted their BGE bills taken care of, that were in need, to call this number,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Bill McCarthy.

According to McCarthy, it’s playing on needs at a time of despair.

“For a fee of $150, this financial advisor would come to their home to collect a fee and help discharge their BGE bill that very day,” McCarthy said.

Problem is, neither BGE nor Catholic Charities knew anything about it: the whole thing is a scam.

“At Catholic Charities, we don’t go to people’s homes to provide that assistance. We do it through the Samaritan Center and we would never charge a fee of $150 to help people with their utility bills,” he said.

Catholic Charities immediately notified Craigslist, BGE and the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s office. The scam is now being investigated.

Catholic Charities sees this not only as a scam but as a safety issue for anyone who’s been contacted.

“The other thing that was really concerning to us, too, is the fact that this person would come to your house, which we think could put people at risk,” McCarthy said.

If you believe you’ve been targeted by this scam, Catholic Charities urges you to contact the Office of the Attorney General at 410-528-8662.


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