Customers urged to report suspicious calls and be wary of requests for personal information
Guest Editorial by AVANGRID
NYSEG and RG&E, AVANGRID companies, are urging customers to be vigilant of scammers posing as representatives of the energy companies.
NYSEG and RG&E have recently received reports of customers having accepted calls from people who claim to be employees or consultants of the companies, some with a corresponding forged caller ID. Customers are urged to never give out personal or account information to unsolicited callers.
Additionally, customers have reported calls threatening to cut service unless an immediate payment is made over the phone using a prepaid debit card such as “Green Dot.” This is a sure sign of a scam. In some cases, the caller seems to have specific knowledge about the customers they are calling and will provide a callback number that spoofs a recorded greeting like that of the companies’ customer service line. Please note that NYSEG and RG&E provide notice before terminating a customer’s service for non-payment, and employees do not perform shut-offs during hours when the customer service center is closed.
Lastly, recent reports indicate that, due to the current inside gas meter inspections taking place by NYSEG and RG&E contractors, some bad actors have attempted to scam individuals by going door-to-door. Contractors working for NYSEG and RG&E will always carry proper identification; customers who question whether or not the visit is legitimate are encouraged to call the companies’ customer service number.
Any customer who is uncertain whether a call is genuine should hang up and call their company: NYSEG customers can call 800-572-1111 and RG&E customers can call 800-743-2110.
Here are some helpful tips:
•NYSEG and RG&E accept a variety of payment methods, and customer care representatives will work with individual customers to help them pay down outstanding balances and maintain service. The companies will never demand customers to purchase debit cards such as Green Dot cards to make payments.
•If unsure of the identity of the caller, ask for the last five digits of the account. If they do not have this information, hang up and alert local authorities. Never give out personal or account information to a caller.
•NYSEG and RG&E employees and contractors carry company-issued photo ID with a unique employee number. Ask for ID before providing personal or account information or granting access to your property. If you are not certain, call to confirm using the number on your bill or the company’s website.
•Be suspicious of unexpected emails from NYSEG or RG&E, especially if you’re not an eBill customer, and think twice before clicking links. If you’re not certain, you can make credit card payments, check balances and find other information at nyseg.com and rge.com.
•When making a payment by phone, always use company phone numbers: NYSEG customers can call 800-600-2275. RG&E customers can call 800-295-7323.