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Swindlers Claiming to be From Con Ed are Aggressively Targeting Local Residents/Business Owners

Deputy Insp. Kevin Maloney

Feb. 26, 2014 By Michael Florio

The police are warning residents to be on the alert for a Con Ed scam.

Deputy Inspector Kevin Maloney, who spoke at the police precinct 114 meeting in Astoria last night, said that there has been an uptick in the number of cases where swindlers claiming to be from Con Ed have been calling residents/business owners requiring bogus payments.

The scammers claim that the victims have overdue electric bills that need to be paid off fast. They instruct them to go to a local store and purchase a green dot money card (which is like a prepaid debit cards) and then read the number back to them to settle the bill.

“We have had over $10,000 taken in these green dot scams,” Deputy Inspector Maloney said. “They are very convincing these people.”

In neighboring Long Island City, Captain Brian Hennessy, of the 108 police precinct, also warned residents to be wary of Con Ed scams and noted that they had been on the increase there too.

Meanwhile, Community Board 2 Chairman Joe Conley, said last week that he had received many complaints about aggressive phone calls from people claiming to be calling from Con Ed.

Maloney said the scammers appear to be using an iPhone app that allows them to not only disguise their number, but have it appear as though they are calling from the bona fide company.

Hennessy said that there have been some egregious cases.

He said that sometimes the victim would provide the scammer with the green dot card number, only to be called later that the green dot number did not work.  However, it did work and the victim just lost more money.

These scams are not just limited to phony Con Ed bills. Some of the scammers claim to be from a police precinct or the FBI.

The crime is hard to track as once the scammers receive the money they change their phone number, Maloney said.

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7 Comments

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Anonymous

I have had these scammers come to my door before. This afternoon one came asking to see the back of my bill. I knew what was going on so I asked for her name and number so that I could have my roommate call back. I made an anonymous tip on the crime stoppers website, and handed her info over. These people need to be stopped.

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JAN

If they come to the door and you can look out a window, tell them “yes, sure, of course, give me a chance to come downstairs and open the door for you” and then you call 911 right away and tell them that the Inspector warned about these people

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Bill business owner

This has happened at my business since last May I called con ed and they told me theirs nothing they can do but to call the police when I had the police come all three times nothing became of it. They didn’t even do a report.

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Business Owner

I had this happen to me. Obviously once they told me to get a green dot card it was over. It also didn’t help the idiot to have his dog bark in the background.

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Captain Obvious

All you have to do is ask the person what your account number is, and/or the balance of your last bill. They won’t know, and you can hang up.

Reply
ash

Also what about the scammers who get into buildings and knock on apartment doors claiming to save you money on your electric bill? “I just need to see your ConEd bill and write down the account number….”
Yea right.

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