Popular “green dot” scam targeting District of Columbia and Maryland utility customers resurfaces
Pepco is urging customers to be aware of a scam that has been targeting utility customers across the United States for more than five years. Customers in the District of Columbia and Maryland have recently contacted the company to report they have been targeted with the popular “green dot” scam.
The scammers, who target both residential and business customers, call individuals claiming that they are behind on their account and must make an immediate payment to avoid service termination. As part of the scam, customers are asked to purchase a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot MoneyPak, for a specific amount from local pharmacies, retail chains or convenience stores. The customer is then directed to contact a number to use the card to make a payment to their account. Once the information is provided to the scammer, the funds on the card are removed.
During the last five years, scammers have become increasingly sophisticated, going to extreme measures to present themselves as official utility representatives. Scammers have gone so far as to replicate utility phone numbers through caller ID, with some even replicating the messaging and prompts provided to customers through their interactive voice response system.
To help customers ward off these scammers, Pepco offers the following tips:
If a customer receives a call from someone stating they are calling to collect a bill payment for Pepco, the caller should be able to provide specific information including:
o Account name
o Account address
o Account number
o Amount of current balance
If the caller cannot provide this information, it is likely the call is not coming from Pepco. In this case, customers should not provide any information, and call Pepco immediately at 1-202-833-7500 to report the situation.
Customers should never provide their social security number or banking or credit card information by phone unless they have initiated the call.
Additionally, customers should never provide anyone access to their home who claims to be from Pepco, or a contractor working for Pepco, unless the person has proper identification. Customers can always contact the company at 1-202-833-7500 to confirm an official visit.
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