With the holiday season approaching, BGE joins Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) in supporting International Fraud Awareness Week and recognizing Utility Scam Awareness Day by reminding customers to be on the lookout for imposters using energy-related scams to steal money and personal information.
In recent years, BGE and other utilities have seen increased reports of their customers being contacted by scammers who pose as utility workers in an attempt to access their financial information or to obtain immediate payment by threatening service interruptions. These are known as utility impostor scams.
In 2023, BGE has received more than 4,000 scam complaints with customers reporting a loss of nearly $330,000 to utility scammers and imposters. Customers should be mindful of the following information to help ensure they avoid becoming the victim of a scammer.
REMEMBER: Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple service interruption notifications for nonpayment–never a single notification one hour before disconnection. BGE will never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, or any form of cryptocurrency. Click here to learn more about common types of scams and red flags.
Five quick tips:
- BGE will never ask a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card, pay via mobile payment apps like Cashapp, Zelle, or Venmo, or pay with cryptocurrency.
- Customers will never receive a single phone call claiming they have one hour before they are disconnected unless they pay immediately. If a customer has a past due balance, they will receive multiple notifications requesting payment.
- BGE will never contact customers for information BGE already has, including choice ID numbers, social security numbers or any other personal information.
- BGE will not call customers to offer a discount or rebate.
- Trust your instincts. If a call does not seem like it is from BGE, customers should hang up and call BGE immediately at 1-800-685-0123.
- Never provide your social security number or personal information to anyone initiating contact with you claiming to be a utility representative or requesting that you send money to another person or entity other than your local utility provider.
- Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into your home or business.
- BGE does not take cash payments at the door.
Any customer who believes they’ve been a target of a scam is urged to contact their local police. Customers can also self-report utility-related scams to BGE through BGE.com or by calling 1-800-658-0123. Customers can easily check their current bill status at BGE My Account online, by downloading BGE’s free mobile app, or by calling Paymentus to check on their account balance at 1-833-209-5245.