A Connecticut power company is warning customers about a billing scam that is once again making the rounds.
Eversource said scammers have targeted businesses like the Popover Bakery and Café in Simsbury.
It said callers would claim to be from Eversource and threaten to shut off a business’s power in two hours unless an immediate payment is made.
“It was a terrible feeling,” said Pam Paydos, the café’s co-owner. “We had a full restaurant at the time and I knew if our power was shut off we’d lose a lot of business on one of our busiest days of the week. The person on the phone sounded legitimate and was very convincing at first. But when the person told me I had to go to a payment center at Big Y or Walmart, I knew something wasn’t right.”
Eversource said Paydos called the power company to confirm the status of her account. That confirmed to her that the previous call had been a scam.
Eversource said that type of scam happens all over the country and usually at the most inopportune times.
The scammers like to ask victims to purchase prepaid debit cards at a specific location.
The scam has been called the “green dot scam.”
“These scams work by scaring customers and catching them off guard, hoping they’ll ignore their better judgment and make a payment or provide personal information,” said Penni Conner, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Eversource. “If any of our customers suspect someone is impersonating an Eversource representative - whether on the phone or in-person - even if they show identification, they should contact us immediately or call the local police.”
Eversource said it never demands payment over the phone and does not require pre-paid debit cards.
Customers can verify everything by calling an Eversource representative. When in doubt, the company said customers can call 1-800-286-2000.
It also added that company employees rarely make unsolicited house visits.
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