From the Office of the Attorney General:
“District residents should be on the lookout for scammers making telephone calls claiming to be with Pepco. These fraudulent callers threaten to shut off residents’ electric service within hours unless the residents pay amounts they supposedly owe to Pepco. The callers request that the payments be made by prepaid card, money order or wire transfer – making it almost impossible for residents to recover their money after discovering they were scammed.
If you receive a call requesting immediate payment of a utility bill, hang up and call the utility company directly at the telephone number printed on your regular bill. You can reach Pepco Customer Care at 202-833-7500 (Spanish: 202-872-4641) between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you believe you are a victim of this scam, contact the Metropolitan Police Department’s Financial and Cyber Crimes Unit at 202-727-4159 or [email protected] .
To protect yourself year-round, here are some tips to safeguard against utility scams:
- Refuse to give financial information over the phone: If you get a call asking for financial information or demanding payment, hang up and call the utility company directly at the telephone number on your bill. Remember, scam artists can use devices that make it appear on caller ID that their calls are coming from the utility company’s telephone numbers.
- Never pay with prepaid cards: Scammers often will ask for payment by prepaid cards, such as Google Store cards or Apple iTunes cards. Once money is taken from a prepaid card there is no way to get it back. It is always better to make payments with a credit card if you are financially able to do so.
- Report scams to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG): If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact OAG by calling 202-442-9828, emailing [email protected] , or submitting a complaint online.“