By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As the holiday season approaches, BGE is sounding the alarm to remind customers of common scams that occur yearly around this time.

These scams often come in the form of telemarketing imposters looking to steal personal information and money.

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For International Fraud Awareness Week, BGE is taking the opportunity to ask individuals to “End the call. End the scam”.

Since January, BGE has received over 7,00 complaints of users being asked to pay immediately or suffer disconnection. These high-pressure sales tactics are commonly used to steal people’s money or even identities.

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“Utilities United Against Scams day continues to be a very important opportunity for BGE to reach out to remind our customers to stay vigilant because these scammers are constantly changing their tactics,” said Chima Chijioke, BGE Vice President of Customer Operations. “It is so disappointing that these scammers continue to use this time of health and financial uncertainty to attempt to deceive our customers.”

In addition to spreading awareness, BGE also released tips and red flags to avoid falling victim to these social engineering attacks.

The tips primarily focus on things a real BGE representative will never do over the phone. Some of these things include asking to purchase a prepaid debit card or give your social security number, threatening to disconnect users in an hour’s time, or offering discounts and rebates over the phone.

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BGE concludes by reminding customers to trust their gut instinct. “Customers shouldn’t be fooled by payment pressure tactics,” said BGE Security Manager Todd Powell. “Almost all of the victims we’ve heard from say the urgency of the call kept them from trusting their instincts. These types of forceful calls are never legitimate, and customers should disengage immediately.”

CBS Baltimore Staff