ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Avangrid, the parent company of RG&E and NYSEG, is warning customers about scammers posing as representatives of its utilities, the company announced Monday.
According to Avangrid, they have received reports of customers being scammed by people claiming to be employees of one of Avangrid’s subsidiaries. The company added that these customers have been scammed over the phone, through fake email and text messages, and even by scammers going door-to-door.
These scammers have been known to make scams threatening to cut off service to the customers unless a payment is made via credit card, claiming that the customers owe money for a meter upgrade, or claiming that there was a system glitch and they need the customer’s personal information.
Avangrid warns customers that they should never give out their personal information to unsolicited callers nor should they expect any of Avangrid’s companies to purchase debit cards for payment.
“Scammers are a perpetual threat to our customers, and we urge everyone to be vigilant to
protect themselves and their families,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We’ve
noticed a recent uptick in the number of utility scams attempting to defraud our customers. I
urge anyone who has a question about the authenticity of a caller or any other
communication claiming to be from our company to immediately contact us.
In order to remain on the lookout for these scammers, Avangrid instructs customers to ask the caller for the last five digits of their account, ask the alleged employees for their company ID, and to be suspicious of unexpected emails.
Last week, RG&E warned customers of a scam targeted at customers who are hearing-impaired. A number listed on utility bills was used by a scammer. The number was discontinued and removed. The Office of the Attorney General is currently investigating the situation.
Customers who believe they have been scammed or felt threatened should call their respective utility, the Federal Trade Commission, and 911.