The Connecticut  Department of Consumer Protection  is advising residents  to be wary of so called ” collection calls” allegedly  from  utilities.

The scammer calls  claiming to be with one of the Connecticut Utilities and  says they are with the billing department and  that  money is owned on their account.They tell their  victim  that unless paid immediately,a  service shutoff or arrest could result.

The victims have been instructed to  purchase and pay off the account  with a pre-paid  card such as a Green Dot  cash card.By giving the scammer the activation code for the card, it  essentially gives them all of the money  that has been loaded onto the card.It is difficult to trace and get that  money back.

The  Consumer Protection Department  urges  people  never to make any payment   to someone who calls on the phone unless they are certain  the person is  who they say they are and that money is actually owed.Check the call ID if you have it  and  note the number  from which the call came. Ask the caller for a  name and position with the  company and get a callback number.Have the caller  confirm your account number. Or simply hang up.Call the utility to report the scam and also call local police.

If you are called by a scammer, you can file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection.


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