From the desk of Marilyn Booth, Emergency Management
New Year—Same Old Scams
Eversource and NH PUC offer ways to avoid becoming a victim in 2019
MANCHESTER, N.H. (January 28, 2019) – The New Year is in full swing and so are scams targeting utility customers across the country and right here in New Hampshire. Already this year, customers in many towns around the state have been approached by scammers, either on the phone or at their door. To warn customers, Eversource and the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) are teaming up to ensure that people know the tell-tale signs of scams, so they can avoid becoming a victim.
“The scammers, often sounding legitimate and quite convincing, threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “These scammers can be relentless but they’re only successful if they catch our customers off-guard and scare them into making a payment. We remind customers, if something doesn’t sound right or feel right, trust your gut, and don’t pay.”
“One similarity in many utility scams is a sense of urgency, with scammers often convincing consumers that payment must be made immediately,” says Amanda Noonan, Director of Consumer Services and External Affairs for the NHPUC. “The more we educate consumers on the basic red flags of a scam, the less likely they are to become victims.”
Tips to help avoid becoming a victim:
- Eversource representatives never demand instant payment over the phone, require the use of pre-paid debit cards or request customers meet at a payment center to make the payment.
- Never provide personal financial or account information to any unsolicited person on the phone, at the door or online, even if they seem legitimate.
- Beware, some sophisticated scammers can manipulate their caller ID to say the caller is with Eversource.
- Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive a written notice that includes information on how to maintain their service.
- Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance.
Customers can verify they are speaking with an Eversource representative by asking for some basic information about their account like the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance. Eversource urges anyone who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call, visit or an offer, to contact the company directly at 1-800-662-7764. Eversource.com provides more information on how to protect personal information and avoid being a victim of utility scams.
Check out this story to learn how one business avoided falling victim to a scammer.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) is New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, serving more than 500,000 homes and businesses in 211 cities and towns, and also supplies water to approximately 9,300 homes and businesses in Hampton, North Hampton and Rye. Eversource is proud to be recognized as the top contributor to United Way in New Hampshire. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of about 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and water with superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceNH) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceNH). For more information on our water services, visit www.aquarionwater.com.