Law enforcement officials in Westchester are cautioning homeowners to be wary of opportunistic scammers who have been reportedly been going door-to-door attempting to take advantage of local residents and obtain sensitive information.
The White Plains Department of Public Safety issued an alert this week to residents following multiple reports of alleged scammers going door-to-door claiming to represent “ESCO”, asking to see their Con Edison Bills, officials said, warning that it’s an ongoing scam to attempt to obtain account numbers and other personal information to defraud the customer.
In response, the Department of Public Safety offered residents a series of tips to help avoid being the victim of a scammer coming to their door:
- Know who the salesperson represents;
- Don’t assume that wearing clothing or carrying a clipboard with a company logo you recognize means the salesperson actually works for that company. Ask to see identification, including proof of employment by an energy company;
- Protect your personal information;
- This means more than guarding your Social Security, bank account, and credit/debit card numbers. Don’t show any door-to-door salesperson your energy bill, which will include your utility account number;
- Know your current energy providers;
- This will head off that utility bill request above. You get bonus points for knowing the rate you’re paying for electricity or natural gas. (It’s also on the bill);
- Know your state’s policy on “cooling off” periods;
- States such as New York allow consumers up to three days to cancel purchases without penalty;
- Sweat the details of an energy contract;
- Be aware;
- Stay current on local happenings and whether scammers are operating in your area. You can use the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker to learn more about potential scams in your area;
- Don’t be embarrassed to report scams.
Anyone who believes they have been the victim of a potential scam has been asked to contact local law enforcement, energy provider and to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
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