Scam warning: ‘Pay up or your power’s cut off’

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There’s a warning got all NYSEG customers – scammers are pretending to work for the utility company.

A woman in East Chatham called 13 Investigates and said she was told her power would be cut off if she did not pay her bill right away.

Scams like this are becoming all too real. Not only are they calling you, NYSEG said they’ve noticed the imposters are going door-to-door acting as company representatives.

“We are seeing incidents of scammers on the rise in all of our service territories across the state. It’s very common, and it’s increasing, unfortunately,” Shelby Cohen said, with NYSEG communications. “Sometimes asking for customers private information. Sometimes they require payment in the moment. We will never employ any of these tactics with our customers.”

The East Chatham woman did not want to go on camera, but she said the scammer told her she was behind on her utility bill and that’s why she had to pay.

“We don’t perform disconnections until the customer has been notified multiple times that they’re behind on their bills,” Cohen said.

The East Chatham woman caught the lie. She said she called NYSEG, who told her she’s paid all her bills and there are no issues with her account.

“That’s also illegal behavior. You should call the police if you believe you’ve been a victim of a scam,” Cohen said.

Tips to Protect Yourself

  • If you’re ever unsure about the caller, ask for the last five digits of the account.
  • If the imposter is at your door, ask for their NYSEG identification.

“We want our customers to be very vigilant, and we want them to be aware of the way they can protect themselves,” Cohen said.

Cohen said autopay is also a full proof way to protect yourself from a scam because it’s a secure transaction. Call NYSEG if you think something fishy is going on.