National Utility Scam Awareness Week

 

Utility companies across the country, including here in Pennsylvania, are ramping up their efforts to prevent scams. Every year, they hear dozens of stories about people being victimized by others pretending to work for an electric or water company. Eyewitness News Reporter Crystal Cranmore on National Utility Scam Awareness Week.

 

Pennsylvania American Water Company is airing a series of public service announcements and they are using social media to make sure customers know what to look for.  In one public service announcement, the Pennsylvania American Water Company is trying to alert customers to the rising numbers of people pretending to work for utility companies and preying on customers.

 

Just last week, residents in one Luzerne County community alerted police about a similar incident.

 

"Two individuals were coming door to door specifically asking about PPL and ways in which they can save money." Said Stephanie Aldrich of Luzerne County

 

Residents tell us police asked the men to leave, as solicitation is not allowed on the property. A spokesperson for PPL tells Eyewitness News that they would never send workers door to door unless appointments were made ahead of time.

 

 Pennsylvania American Water says there are many ways in which scammers will try to steal from utility customers..

 "Imposters are becoming a little bit more savvy on what to say and what to wear,” noted Susan Turcmanovich, PA American Water Spokesperson.

 

They may ask to check your water pressure or inspect faucets. They may even threaten to shut off your service and demand immediate payment up front. Once inside your home, that imposter could get access to valuables and personal information.

 

PA American Water says always make sure you check for identification and ensure those claiming to be from a utility company are wearing company logos.

 

“We hear dozens of stories each year where customers are approached by someone claiming to be from PA American Water." Added Turcmanovich.

 

Customers are encouraged to call the utility company to verify any suspicious visits.  If you wish to verify a visit from a utility company, you should call the number on your monthly bill...not the phone number the scammer provides. If you feel threatened, you are urged to call 9-1-1.  


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