Cape May Police issued a warning Saturday to residents about a phone scam targeting Atlantic City Electric customers.
In a warning posted on the Cape May Police Facebook page, the department said they have been receiving many calls about the scam. The post tells potential victims not to provide any information to the caller.
“Remember that utilities or the IRS will not have you pay a bill with pre-loaded credit cards. If you believe the call may be legitimate, find a phone number on a past bill and call the company back,” the post states.
You can also contact the company at 800-642-3780 to confirm a call or an official visit to a home.
Golda Friedman contacted The Press on Saturday about the scam, stating that her housekeeper had received a call. Friedman said the caller had an Atlantic City Electric phone number and requested that her housekeeper go to the store and purchase a pre-paid credit card to provide payment or they would shut off her electric service.
“People feel threatened with their electric being turned off,” said Friedman, who lives in Atlantic City seasonally. “That’s pretty harrowing.”
She said the caller also asked for her housekeeper’s social security number.
According to Atlantic City Electric spokesman Frank Tedesco, the company is aware of the scam and has been sending out periodic notices to customers. He said it has been happening for the last few years.
“We encourage customers never to provide payment if threatened with immediate disconnecting,” Tedesco said Saturday.
He said scammers have gotten more sophisticated, including replicating utility phone numbers through caller ID and even the messaging and prompts provided to customers through a utility’s interactive voice response system.
Tedesco said that if you receive a call from someone claiming to be from Atlantic City Electric, the caller should be able to provide specific information including the account name, account address, account number and the amount of the current balance.