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ComEd Reports Spike In Utility Scams

CHICAGO (CBS) -- ComEd is reporting an increase in utility scams lately.

As WBBM Newsradio's Lisa Fielding reports, spokesman Richard Ruminski says scammers are calling consumers asking for credit card information.

They are also going door-to-door posing as ComEd employees, sometimes wearing a hard hat, utility company logo, or a generic orange safety vest.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Lisa Fielding reports


"On a couple of instances, people have come in, not specifically representing themselves as ComEd, but saying they're from the electric company and they need to check their meters or fix something because there seems to be a problem, takes the impostor downstairs to read the meter. A second accomplice goes through and ransacks the house," Ruminski said.

In another instance, someone claiming to be a ComEd representative called a customer and claimed that the billing cycle and changed, and that credit card information was required to settle the customer's bill.

Other incidents have involved scammers demanding money from customers for parts to fix their electric meters, and threatening to shut off the customers' power if they did not hand the money over, ComEd said.

Ruminski says in just the last two months, there have been 28 reports of customers getting conned into giving credit card information, or handing money over to utility workers.

Last year, there were only 13 such reports in total, ComEd said.

Ruminski says if you believe you have been a victim, you should contact police.

ComEd says customers should know that actual utility workers always carry proper identification, and will never ask customers for cash or personal financial information. Customers can also verify if a ComEd worker is in their area by calling (800) EDISON-1.

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