Be Aware of Utility Scams This Winter!

Utility Scam Alert Sign

As the cold Winter months approach, The Ferguson Township Police Department & FirstEnergy would like to inform residents of a popular scam that may target you.

Scammers are impersonating as electric and gas companies to steal information from unsuspecting residents. These scammers prey on residents' fear of losing heat during the cold weather. While these scammers operate year-round, they are most active during the winter and summer months. Over 1,600 reports of scams have been received from FirstEnergy's nationwide customer base.

“We take our customers’ safety and security very seriously,” said Gary W. Grant, Vice President of Customer Service for FirstEnergy Utilities. “Scammers can be very convincing and often target our most vulnerable customers, particularly senior citizens.”

Here are some key takeaways to better protect yourself from one of these solicitations.

  • If you are behind on your bills, your utility company will always contact you via mail. Representatives will never call or email demanding payment.
  • Representatives will NOT require you to purchase a pre-paid money card.
  • Your utility company will NOT contact you for sensitive information such as social security numbers or bank account information.
  • Scammers will use Caller ID spoofing software to impersonate utility companies. The call-back numbers provided by these criminals may use greetings and hold messages that make them seem legitimate.
  • Scammers have been calling residents pretending to offer money back rebates if you give them your bank account number.
  • If you have any doubts on the status of your service, check the customer service phone number listed on the utility company's website. 
    • Always double-check the URL when logging into any personal account! Scammers may also create false websites.
  • If you suspect a scam, hang up immediately and call the Ferguson Police Department then your utility provider.

Below is the full press release provided by FirstEnergy. Click here to find out how to contact police.