ComEd warns customers about COVID-19 related energy scams

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Ill. (KWQC) - ComEd, an energy company in Illinois, is warning customers about an energy scam that relates to COVID-19.

Officials are asking their customers to "be on alert for potential scams targeting individuals and small-business owners."

Imposters are posing as employees with ComEd and are taking advantage of the "uncertainty brought on by this health crisis to approach individuals and steal their personal information and money," officials said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, ComEd officials say they have received reports of scammers, posing as utility representatives, approaching customers. ComEd officials say they then threaten to shut service off or offer cash or credit incentives to obtain the customer's personal or financial information.

"In some cases, scammers will "spoof" ComEd's name and phone number so that a call appears to be from ComEd," officials said in the release. "They may demand a customer to make a direct payment with a prepaid cash card. In other instances, scammers ask victims to call them back at a different phone number and provide personal information. They may duplicate the recorded message that customers hear when calling a legitimate company, so when customers call the number provided by the scammer, it sound like an actual business."

"We are committed to doing everything we can to protect our customers from scammers who use the public's concerns around health and financial uncertainty for deception and harm," ComEd Vice President of Customer Channels Nichole Owens said. "Because these imposters are constantly changing their tactics, we provide our customers with the latest information to help them ward off would-be scammers and help put a stop to their ongoing attempts."

Tips to help identify scams:
ComEd will never come to a customer's home or business to:
- Demand a payment
- Ask for immediate payment with a prepaid cash card
- Ask for your ComEd account number or other personal information, such as a driver's license number

ComEd will never call a customer to:
- Ask for their account number
- Ask for personal information such as their Social Security number or bank information
- Ask them to make a direct payment with a prepaid cash card

To identify an actual ComEd employee, remember:
- All ComEd field employees wear a uniform with the ComEd logo, including shirt and safety vest
- ComEd employees visibly display a company ID badge with the ComEd logo and employee's name

ComEd urges anyone who believes they've been a target or victim of an energy-related scam to contact ComEd at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661). For more tips on identifying energy-related scams, you can visit this link.