BGE Warns Customers to be Aware of Utility Imposters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BGE Warns Customers to be Aware of Utility Imposters and to Always be Vigilant About Personal and Home Safety
Individuals may misrepresent themselves as BGE employees in person or over the telephone in order to steal money, obtain credit card information or gain entry into customers’ homes
BALTIMORE (April 12, 2013) – Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) cautions customers to be aware of individuals who may pose as a BGE employee either in person or over the telephone in an attempt to steal money and other valuables by gaining access to customer homes or businesses or to gain credit card information. Imposters may wear “official-looking” clothing and carry fake credentials.
“The safety of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we encourage our customers to be vigilant about their safety in their homes and businesses,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Although it is rare for a BGE representative to require entry into the customer’s home, if the entry is requested, the customer should always ask to see photo identification. All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges, which should be visible at all times, displaying their name, photograph and identification number.”
Recently, BGE learned of a scam targeting its customers over the telephone. The callers claim to represent BGE and tell customers their service is scheduled to be terminated and that they should make a payment by purchasing a “Green Dot” Visa credit card. The customers are then directed to call another phone number where information is obtained from the credit card and the monetary value is removed from the card. This is a scam and the funds are not being used for a BGE bill. To avoid this specific scam, customers can ask for the name on the account, the account address and the exact past-due balance. If the caller cannot provide that information, customers should not provide any type of payment or financial information.
BGE offers customers safe, convenient ways to make payments including calling the BGE customer contact center at 800.685.0123, online at bge.com, by mail and at authorized America’s Cash Express and Global Express locations. For any questions about accepted BGE payment methods, or to verify the identification of any persons requesting customer information or entry into a home or business, contact BGE at 800.685.0123. Customers can also find information about payment options and protecting themselves and their families against utility imposters at bge.com. If customers are contacted as part of this scam, the company asks them to call local law enforcement and the BGE Customer Contact Center immediately at 800.685.0123.
If at any time, customers are concerned for their safety, they should contact 911. As a reminder, BGE no longer accepts cash payments in the field and generally only requires entry into a customer’s home in response to gas or electric emergencies, to check BGE equipment, read BGE meters or to start or stop service. BGE regularly advises customers about imposters and how to avoid becoming a victim in its monthly bill insert, BGE Connections.
BGE works closely with local law enforcement to address these types of issues, but also urges customers to take an active role in ensuring their safety against imposters by taking the following steps:
Customers should never open their door to someone they don’t recognize and should always ask for a photo ID through the door or window, especially if you did not request a visit from BGE.
All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges, displaying their name, photograph and identification number. To verify a BGE employee’s identity or work being done at your home, call BGE at 800-685-0123.
Customers who encounter suspicious activity or suspected utility imposters are urged to contact the police immediately.
BGE encourages customers to share these safety tips with elderly family members, friends and children. For more information, visit bge.com.
In addition, BGE customers have the option of purchasing natural gas and electricity from third-party suppliers and representatives of these companies may contact customers in person, by mail or telephone seeking their business. They may also ask to see the customer’s BGE bill. Representatives of third-party suppliers should carry identification from the company for which they work, not BGE. Customers should not hesitate to ask to see their badge and verify their identification. For more information on customer choice, visit bge.com/choice.
# # #
BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.2 million electric customers and more than 655,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,400 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2012 revenues of approximately $23.5 billion. Like