‘Customers should be aware’: Pepco customers are being urged to watch out for scammers

Pepco is reminding customers to watch out for potential scams, which could even involve a phone call from a customer service number.

“There’s a lot of common schemes that involve scammers’ use of technology to replicate a company’s phone number through caller ID,” said Pepco spokesman Frank Tedesco.

A WTOP listener recently shared that a fraudulent caller told a customer that a Pepco technician was on the way to shut off service unless the customer paid through Zelle or with a Walmart gift card.

Tedesco said a Pepco representative would never ask for payment through a prepaid cash card or cryptocurrency, and customers wouldn’t receive calls out of the blue demanding any type of payment.

“It can’t be stressed enough that an immediate payment request is a scam, and customers should be aware of that,” Tedesco said.

He said there are a series of steps of communicating with customers before any potential disconnection of service, and that representatives won’t ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers or bank information.

Tedesco said customers should make payments the way they usually do, through the mail or online.

He warned that scammers are using more sophisticated tactics, which can make it harder to tell if a representative is real or not: “With this spoofing technology, scammers are getting more and more creative in obtaining information to make it seem like a legitimate Pepco representative is calling them.”

Tedesco said this issue and cybersecurity is top of mind for Pepco, and the utility company works to alert customers about new scams they become aware of.

If you get a suspicious phone call, he said hang up and call Pepco to check the status of your account.

If a technician shows up to cut off service, Tedesco said to call Pepco as well. For those who believe they have been a target of a scam, he said report it to police and to the electric utility company.

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Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin joined WTOP in 2021 as an anchor/reporter covering breaking news in the D.C. region. She has loved radio since she was a child and is thrilled to now be part of Washington’s top radio news station.

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