Consumer Alert

October 15, 2018
Consumer Alert
 
OPC Warns Consumers About Possible Scams
Recently, OPC has received an increased number of reports about apparent utility scams targeting seniors, low and moderate income, and limited English speaking District residents. Based on information from consumers and discussions on neighborhood social media pages, these scams include people impersonating utility workers while attempting to gain entry to homes, robotic phone calls offering consumers reduced utility rates, and “special” energy rates for seniors.
Consumers also report high-pressure marketing by door to door “sales representatives” making false claims about energy cost savings, and offers made by persons at public locations such as shopping centers, or by telephone. Frequently, scammers will ask for consumers’ utility account information or Social Security numbers.
OPC Encourages Consumers to Remain Aware:
Beware of someone who says they are “from the electric or gas company.” Always request utility company identification.
Unless there is a public safety emergency, utility companies rarely visit your home or randomly stop you on the street. Utility companies do not go door to door making rate offers.
Third Party Suppliers (TPS) authorized by the Public Service Commission may offer energy services to District customers. A TPS company representative will provide you with proof of who they are.
These rules apply for anyone who offers you utility service:
DO NOT PROVIDE your UTILITY ACCOUNT NUMBERS, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER or other personal information. OPC recommends that you:
Ask whoever is at the door what type of utility work would require them entering your home.
NEVER give phone solicitors any personal or account information or agree to limited time offers.
Request all offers in writing and DO NOT sign any documents you have not had time to review.
If you have already been contacted or have questions about utility services, rates, contract offers, or utility construction in your neighborhood, contact OPC at (202) 727-3071 to talk with a Consumer Outreach Specialist.
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Office of the People’s Counsel, 1133 15th Street, NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005
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