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.