From Dept. of Consumer Protection: Beware of electricity bill scam

Scammers are posing as representatives of the Connecticut Light & Power Co. (CL&P) and are seeking immediate payments from Connecticut residents, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein warned recently.

Several consumers reported to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that they have been called by “Mike Anderson” or “Jesse Fernandez,” men who claimed to be with the CL&P billing department. “Mike” advised one consumer that her power would be disconnected unless she purchased a Green Dot Card — a brand of reloadable prepaid card — and loaded it with money. To avoid disconnection, after loading the card with nearly $300 in cash, the consumer was then to call another number with the account information on the Green Dot card.

A consumer contacted by “Jesse” reported having a similar telephone experience.

These consumers called CL&P and were told their accounts were in order and that they were targets of a scam. The consumers subsequently made this information known to PURA, which operates under the auspices of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

“The targeted consumers did the right thing by calling their utility to verify the caller’s claim, and I encourage anyone who gets this type of call to do the same,” Mr. Rubenstein said. “Never make any payment to someone who calls you over the phone unless you are absolutely certain that they are legitimate, and that you owe what they say you owe. Had those consumers followed the scammer’s instructions, their money would be long gone.”

Those who believe they are the victim of, or were targeted, by this scam may file a written complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection at 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford CT 06141, or at [email protected]

For questions about a CL&P account, call 800-286-2000.

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