Scammers: We’ll shut off your electric if you don’t pay us right now!

Police: Scammers target small businesses, threaten to kill power

Brooklyn Paper
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Don’t believe your caller id!

Small-business owners in Brooklyn are being targeted by tele-phony grifters posing as Con Edison employees who threaten to shut off electric or gas service if an “overdue bill” is not paid immediately.

Officers were handing out leaflets at the 86th Street subway station Friday morning warning residents to hang up the phone if they get a call from someone claiming to be from Con Edison or other utilities and demanding money for a past due bill to ensure continued service.

The scam seems to work because caller identification on the victim’s phone say the call is coming from the utility company, even though it isn’t.

The schemers then ask victims to head to a nearby CVS or other drug store and pay the “bill” using a pre-paid gift card.

The NYPD’s alert says utilities do not shut off service over the phone, and anyone receiving such a call should end the call immediately. If anyone has a question about their bill, they should initiate the call to the utility company.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Updated 5:55 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

stan chaz from GreenPoint says:
Don't call them schemers or scammers.
Just scum.
Sept. 8, 2017, 3:25 pm
SCR from Realityville says:
Such scams have been going on for years. So why are we NOT seeing,any such criminals arrested and displayed in handcuffs,in front of police-cars/vans;on the 6:00 o'Clock Evening News,-as they certainly deserve to be?
Sept. 8, 2017, 3:28 pm
Pammy from Bk says:
This is no scam - if you don't pay your bills, they cut you off! I had a telephone man come by and collect my overdue bill - $12.50 plus tax!!! But I just fuggin paid and didn't write an article about it! Get over yourself!
Sept. 9, 2017, 8:18 am
Pammy from Bk says:
Oh, yeah, I forgot to add that I also gave him a little wink-wink for not turning off my landline telephone that I only use to call Dominos for pizza delivery. Lets just say the telephone man always rings twice.
Sept. 9, 2017, 11:30 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the most part, Con Edison or any other utility company won't cold call you especially involving your bill. If anything, they will usually mail you what you owe them, not say it over the phone. Also, no legit utility company will ever ask for some prepaid money card to pay for such debts let alone having money wired to them.
Sept. 10, 2017, 8:03 pm

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