Scam artists posing as Con Edison workers are preying on the elderly, according to Philip Halliburton, the electric company’s public affairs specialist.
Halliburton said so−called workers are going door to door and offering assistance to residents having “problems” with their Con Ed bills.
In some instances, the “workers” request cash payments after viewing the bills, Halliburton said.
“We will never come to your house and ask you for your bill,” Halliburton told residents at a recent Community Board 13 meeting.
Weeks after the visits, some residents discovered that they had been switched from Con Ed to a rival electric provider.
Halliburton advises residents to be cautious when people claiming to be Con Ed employees knock on their doors.
“Any person that comes to your household and says they are a Con Ed employee is going to have an ID card,” he said.
Residents who want to ensure that they remain with Con Ed should call 1−800−75−CONED, Halliburton said.
This is not the first time that con artists have targeted seniors.
A long−running scam throughout many southern Brooklyn neighborhoods has also involved faux utility workers.
According to the NYPD, criminals often pose as workers from utility companies like Con Edison, KeySpan or the city Water Board and knock on residents’ doors.
When the “worker” is inside the house and pretending to check meters or insisting that there’s a problem that must be fixed, an accomplice enters the home and ransacks it.
Cops have cautioned that residents should call the utility company whenever a worker shows up without an appointment and also verify that there is actually a problem in need of repair. Do not allow the workers entrance to the house until the person’s identity is confirmed, police warn.
©2009 Community News Group
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