Beware of Possible Nationwide Phony Bill-Payment
NYSEG has been made aware of a possible phony bill-payment scam that may have affected utility customers nationwide. In the interest of customer education and protection, we are providing some details of this scam and safety reminders to all our customers.
- The scam starts with the claim that President Obama will pay customers’ utility bills through a new federal program.
- The information received by NYSEG indicates that the scam’s perpetrators attempt to make contact through a variety of means: door-to-door solicitations, telephone calls, mailed or hand-delivered fliers, and through social media sites such as Facebook.
- Customers are allegedly asked to provide personal information, including Social Security or bank account numbers, to participate in the bogus bill-payment program. In return, consumers are given a fake bank routing number that they erroneously believe will pay their utility bills.
- There is no new federal program to pay utility bills that will request Social Security or bank account information. The scammers allegedly use the customers' personal information to steal their identity or empty their bank accounts.
- NYSEG urges anyone who may be contacted about such a fraudulent program to immediately break off contact and call the police.
NYSEG advises: Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number or bank information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident that the transaction is legitimate.
If you are contacted by individuals who say they represent NYSEG and you wish to verify their identity, either ask for their photo ID card (if in person) or ask for their employee number. Then contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1111 to verify their identity and the nature of their business with you. Our employees are happy to comply with an identity verification request.
Remember, if something like this scam sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't true.