Be Wary of Scams by Utility Impersonators
Customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric should be aware of potential scams by persons posing as utility employees seeking payment for past due accounts or attempting to gain access to homes. “Although these scams were reported outside of the Mid-Hudson Valley in the New York and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas, local residents should be aware and cautious in the event these or other perpetrators target this area, too,” said Charles A. Freni, Senior Vice President of Customer Services.
“Police report that persons posing as utility employees or agents contact residents to indicate a past due amount on their accounts,” explained Freni. The scammers indicate that service will be terminated in the event that the bill is not paid immediately, and advise that a payment should be made by purchasing a “Green Dot” VISA prepaid credit card at a local drug or convenience store. Residents are then directed to another phone number where information is obtained from the card and the cash value removed, or a permanent card is registered in another name. According to police reports, the scammers have primarily targeted Hispanic families.
Customers receiving calls are warned not to provide or verify their utility account or credit card information. If uncertain about the caller, customers may hang up and call Central Hudson at 845-452-2700 to speak to a Customer Service Representative to verify any call. Customers who are contacted may also wish to note the caller ID information and report the incident to their local police department.
In other scams, utility impersonators have visited residents outside of the Hudson Valley requesting access to homes to assess an electrical or metering issue, with the intent to commit robbery.
Customers with any questions about an employee’s identity may call 845-452-2700, or 1-800-527-2714.