Authorities are warning people not to fall victim to telephone scammers claiming to represent Eversource Energy and demanding immediate payment.
The calls, which have been made recently to Eversource customers throughout New England, are bogus, according to the utility, which says it never demands an immediate payment in person or over the phone.
In the scam, a caller claiming to be from Eversource either tells the person answering or leaves a message that electricity will be shut off due to nonpayment.
The scammer instructs the person to obtain gift or prepaid debit cards.
In one instance, a 74-year-old Southbury man was told the meters at his business needed to be replaced and was instructed to purchase $1,900 in prepaid debit cards.
He purchased a $500 card and was told to leave the store where he bought it, go to his car, and call back to relay the debit card number to the person on the other end.
But he became suspicious and failed to follow through with the transaction.
Eversource reminds its customers that:
- Representatives never ask for instant payment in person or over the phone
- Representatives do not require the use of prepaid debit cards
- Customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive written notice in the mail that includes actions they can take to maintain service
Connecticut residents who receive one of these calls should hang up and contact Eversource directly at 800.286.2000.
Danbury police recently reported several complaints about these bogus calls, as have police in Tolland, several other Connecticut towns, and throughout Eversource's New England coverage area.