Have a question about Philly’s neighborhoods or the systems that shape them? PlanPhilly reporters want to hear from you! Ask us a question or send us a story idea you think we should cover.
Utility customers in Pennsylvania should be on the lookout for scams.
The Philly-area electric and gas utility PECO typically sees an uptick in scams targeting its customers January through April, said spokesperson Tom Brubaker.
“We see a lot of calls to customers typically demanding payment or their service will be discontinued,” Brubaker said. “It’s really shameful because we have customers that are in vulnerable situations with as cold as it is outside.”
An increasingly common scamming tactic is a phone call from a number with a fake caller ID that reads “PECO,” Brubaker said.
“So a customer may pick up the phone, believe it’s PECO because of what’s appearing on their phone,” he said. “However, it is a fraudster looking to use the tactic to pocket some quick cash.”
Scammers often try to use a sense of urgency to get people to act without thinking.
“There’s [some] reason why you need to act right now, and why it’s impossible for you to try to confirm … or double check what’s going on,” said Pennsylvania Utility Commission spokesperson Nils Hagen-Frederiksen.