Pepco Warns Customers About Utility Scammers During COVID-19 Pandemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 26, 2020) – With the District of Columbia, Maryland and the world experiencing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pepco is reminding customers to always be on alert for potential scams targeting energy customers. Scams occur throughout the year, but the company has seen an increase in scam attempts with scammers using this health crisis to take advantage of energy customers throughout the United States. The company has received reports that scammers are threatening to shut service off, and also are offering cash or credit incentives in order to obtain a customer’s personal or financial information.
“It is unfortunate that scammers are using the public’s concerns around health and financial uncertainty to deceive and further harm our customers,” said Derrick Dickens, senior vice president and Chief Customer Officer for Pepco Holdings. “We want to provide our customers with tools and information that can help ward off would be scammers and help put a stop to these ongoing scamming attempts.”
In some cases, scammers are duplicating the recorded message that customers hear when calling a legitimate company, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sounds like an actual business. Some scammers also use caller ID “spoofing” to replicate an energy company’s phone number.
Throughout the year, Pepco takes steps to raise awareness among its customers, including posting tips to social media, adding alerts on the pepco.com homepage, issuing news releases, and participating annually in Utilities United Against Scams Day in March and November. Any customer who believes he or she has been the target of a scam is urged to contact their local police and call Pepco immediately at 202-833-7500 to report the situation.
Don’t Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions
- Never provide your social security number or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a company representative or requesting you to send money to another person or entity other than Pepco.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any Pepco worker into your home or business.
- Never make a payment for services to anyone coming to your door.
How to protect yourself
- Pepco representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
- Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal or by mail.
- Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
- If a customer ever questions the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call Pepco at 202-833-7500.
It is important to remind customers again of the many energy assistance programs available to help meet their energy needs. Pepco offers a number of programs to help customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland through temporary or extended financial hardship. Additionally, Pepco is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1 and working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Pepco is also working with residents whose service was previously disconnected to have service restored. Those customers should contact the company at 202-833-7500. As part of the reconnection process, Pepco Customer Care representatives will work with residents to help identify assistance programs that can supplement bill payment and can help ensure service remains on after this pandemic.
To learn more about Pepco, visit The Source, Pepco’s online newsroom. For more information about Pepco, visit pepco.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/pepcoconnect and on Twitter at twitter.com/pepcoconnect. Our mobile app is available at pepco.com/mobileapp.
Pepco is a unit of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation’s leading energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. Pepco provides safe and reliable energy service to approximately 894,000 customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland.