BALTIMORE (WJZ) — BGE is reminding customers that scammers are out and about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They said they have seen an increase in scam reports over the past week, with scammers attempting to use the health crisis to trick utility customers.
BGE has received reports that scammers are offering cash or credit incentives from BGE to get a customer’s personal or financial information.
In some cases, the recorded message customers hear when calling a legitimate company has been duplicated by scammers. When customers call the number given by the scammer, it sounds like an actual business.
Some are using caller ID “spoofing” to replicate a utility’s phone number.
The company reminds customers they will be suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1 and will work with customers on a “case-by-case” basis to establish payment arrangements and options to help.
They’re also working with residents whose service was disconnected before the March 13 service disconnection moratorium to have their service restored.
Those customers should contact BGE at 800-685-0123.
“It is unfortunate that scammers are using this time of health and financial uncertainty to attempt to deceive our customers,” said Tamla Olivier, senior vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “These scammers are constantly changing their tactics and it’s important that our customers stay vigilant to avoid becoming victims.”
BGE reminds customers to:
- Never provide your social security number or any personal information to anyone claiming they can help, or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than your local utility provider.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- Do not give payment in any form- cash, check, or credit- to anyone coming to your door.
Because of the extensions BGE is giving, a disconnection notice is likely a scam, the company said.
Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail or in person. They added that even if they were shutting off service, a customer would get multiple notifications, not just a single one before disconnecting.
Any customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police and call BGE immediately at 800-685-0123 to report the situation.