Utility Scams: How to Stay Safe


Every year, there seems to be more scams concerning energy companies than the previous year. According to NYSEG & RG&E, “Utility customers can be a convenient target for these scammers because unlike retail business customers, most everyone is a customer of an energy company and pays utility bills.” Some scammers approach people at their homes, others do so by phone or e-mail. Customers are then asked to pay current or past due charges. If customers are taken in by the scheme, the scammers pocket any “payment” given.

To stay safe from these traps, NYSEG and RG&E recommends taking the following precautions:

  • Always type the NYSEG or RG&E Web address when making an online payment; do not rely on email links. At nyseg.com and rge.com, customers can check account balances and any past-due amounts.
  • When making a payment by phone, always confirm the NYSEG or RG&E phone numbers. Customers should not make payments by phone to anyone who has contacted them or asked them to dial a number other than a NYSEG or RG&E number.
  • Don’t trust links in emails when paying NYSEG or RG&E by credit card – go directly to nyseg.com or rge.com to complete credit card transactions.
  • If paying by mail, the addresses are: NYSEG, P.O. Box 11745, Newark, NJ07101-4745; RG&E, P.O. Box 11747, Newark, NJ07101-4747.
  • NYSEG and RG&E bills may be paid at an authorized pay agent, at a Walmart location or at a company walk-in office.
  • If paying using an online payment service (for example, through a bank), always follow the payment service’s instructions to ensure account security.
  • Never provide Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless the customer has initiated the contact and feels confident that the transaction is legitimate.
  • NYSEG and RG&E will never ask customers to purchase a debit card to make a payment.
  • To confirm the identity of any NYSEG or RG&E employee: ask for a photo ID card (if in person) or ask for their employee number. Then contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1111) or RG&E (1.800.743.2110) to verify the individual’s identity and the nature of their business. NYSEG and RG&E employees are happy to comply with an identity confirmation request.

For more information, visit their website at: https://www.rge.com/OurCompany/News/2014/020414scamalert.html


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