ATTORNEY GENERAL TONG, DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER PROTECTION WARN AGAINST NEW DEVELOPMENT IN EVERSOURCE ROBOCALL SCAM
AG Tong, DCP, State Legislators To Hold Robocall Forum Tonight
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong and Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull today warned Eversource consumers that scammers may have gained access to customer account numbers and have been using this information in attempts to defraud consumers. Complaints to the Office of the Attorney General regarding robocall utility shut-off scams continue to increase and consumers are advised to be vigilant.
The scam involves a "spoofed" call purporting to be from Eversource. In some cases, the scammer may demand to install a new meter and threaten to shut off power if not immediately paid $300. In other cases, the scammer may also demand payment of an alleged overdue balance, and threaten immediate shut off. Threatening service disconnection is a common scam, and fraudsters have previously impersonated other utilities to try to get access to credit card information.
The Office of the Attorney General has begun to receive new reports now that scammers may have access to accurate customer account numbers, making it even harder for consumers to detect the scam. The Office of the Attorney General is working with Eversource to determine how scammers acquired the information.
Attorney General William Tong, state Sen. Christine Cohen, Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Commissioner Arunan Arulampalam and state Rep. Sean Scanlon will hold a forum tonight, Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Nathanael B. Green Community Center in Guilford on combating the increase in robocalls. This latest Eversource scam will be among the topics discussed. During the forum, Attorney General Tong and state officials will be joined by representatives from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau and the Connecticut Alliance of Retired Americans, and will discuss ways to avoid falling victim to a robocall, how to report a spam call, the various types of robocalls, and measures the Office of the Attorney General and state legislature are taking to address the issue.
"This scam is widespread and fraudsters may be increasing in sophistication. I am alarmed and concerned that scammers may now have access to customer account numbers. This will make it even harder for consumers to detect and avoid this scam. We are working to determine how scammers acquired this information," said Attorney General William Tong. "Your utility will never ask for instant payment and cannot threaten shutoff without prior written warning. If you receive this call, hang up the phone and do not pay a cent."
“If you don’t believe that you owe Eversource money, you probably don’t,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “Scammers with even a little bit of your personal or account information can seem incredibly convincing. It’s important to remember that Eversource will never threaten to turn off your power within hours or minutes, and no one should have to give you your account number over the phone. If someone pressures you to pay immediately, don’t fall for it and hang up the phone.”
If you receive a suspicious call regarding your Eversource account, hang up the phone. You can verify the status of your account by contacting Eversource directly at 800-286-2000. You can also contact the Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Assistance Unit at 860-808-5420. To report a scam using the Attorney General's online complaint system, click here.