A scam in which PECO customers are misled into purchasing pre-paid debit cards which are then drained of funds has struck the Philadelphia region, the electric and gas utility said Thursday.
In the scam, customers are contacted by persons who claim to work for PECO and informed that they must make an immediate payment in order to avoid their electricity being shut off.
The phony employee then instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit card from a convenience store or similar location, then to provide that card's number. The fraud operators then drain the funds on the card.
“We want to make our customers aware of this scam so they can protect themselves from becoming victims of this and other fraudulent activities,” said Mark Alden, PECO vice president of Customer Operations, in a statement released by the company. “We will not tolerate anyone taking advantage of our customers. We are working closely with local police to investigate any instances of scamming in our service territory so that these individuals can be caught and brought to justice.”
The company said that anyone who calls on behalf of PECO and request payments should be able to provide account-specific information such as the customer's name, address, account number, and current balance.
Anyone who believes they have been contacted by a person impersonating a PECO representative should inform the company at 1-800-494-4000.