International Fraud Awareness Week: Con Edison warns customers of potential scams
Con Edison has issued a scam warning to customers as part of International Fraud Awareness Week.
The utility says education and awareness are the best tools customers can have in order to protect themselves from becoming a target of a scam.
Con Edison joined more than 150 energy and water companies that are urging their customers to learn the signs of a scam. They say scammers are persistent and a serious problem for customers as they continue to come up with new ways to commit fraud.
Common tactics include asking for immediate payment to avoid customers' utility services from being turned off. Another warning sign is if scammers ask customers to put money on a pre-paid card, to provide them with the card number or to pay through apps like Zelle, Venmo and CashApp -- all apps that Con Edison does not use.
In some instances, scammers will even show up at a customer's door pretending to be an employee. Con Edison says all of their staff are in uniform and will show their employee badge.
Con Edison's Allan Drury spoke to News 12 over the phone and said thousands of customers are scammed out of money each year, but the actual number could be higher as many scams go unreported.
"In other instances, they will just be overly polite. If they think you are going along with the scam and they're fooling you, they will be overly polite to keep the conversation going," Drury said.
Now if a person does show up at a customer's home or business claiming to be from Con Edison, the utility advises to ask for a company identification or badge. Customers can also call Con Ed directly for confirmation.