The state is warning about a scam in which callers identify themselves as billing department workers from CL&P.
The state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner is issuing a warning after learning that scammers are posing as representatives of the Connecticut Light and Power Company and looking for immediate payment from residents.
Several residents have recently contacted the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to report calls from someone identifying themselves as “Mike Anderson,” or “Jesse Fernandez,” and claiming to be with the CL&P billing department.
According to the Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner, “Mike” advised one consumer that her power would be disconnected unless she bought a Green DOT Card, a reloadable prepaid card, and loaded it with nearly $300 in cash and then called another number with the account information on the Green Dot card.
A consumer contacted by "Jesse” over the weekend reported a similar call.
When the residents called CL&P, they were told their accounts were in order and that they were targets of a scam, so they contacted the Public Utilities Resource Authority.
“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,” Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein said in a news release. “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.”
Officials said the difficulty with reloadable prepaid cards is that they must be loaded with a cash value and it is very difficult to track or trace.
“It’s always very upsetting to us when we hear about scammers trying to take advantage of our customers by misrepresenting themselves as our employees,” said Penni Conner, Chief Customer Officer at Northeast Utilities, parent company of CL&P. “In this case, customers should not provide any type of payment or financial information, and should call Customer Service immediately at 800-286-2000, and local law enforcement, to report the incident.”
If you were targeted by this scam, you can file a written complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection at 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06141 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For questions about your CL&P account, call the CL&P Customer Service Center toll-free at (800) 286-2000.
, Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein warned today.