ComEd and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Chicago and Northern Illinois want to remind customers to be on the lookout for utility-company imposters approaching homes and businesses to steal information and valuables:
In-person energy-related scams
Utility scams consumers have reported to ComEd and the BBB include incidents of scammers who approach homes or small businesses posing as an employee from ComEd, another utility or a tree service company. They attempt to lure the resident or business owner outside to discuss work that the imposter claims needs to be completed. While the individual is outside, an accomplice will enter the home or business to steal valuables and documents containing the individual’s personal or financial information.
ComEd and the BBB have also learned of individuals visiting home and business owners, then asking for a copy of their utility bill or other personal documents to steal identities or switch the owner’s energy supplier without permission.
Scammers will sometimes call homes and small businesses using a number that appears to be a ComEd phone number. Offenders will also impersonate the names of ComEd and other trusted organizations by creating email addresses or websites that look like the real sites.
Tips to help identify scams
- ComEd will never call or come to a customer’s home or business to: Ask for direct payment with a prepaid cash card, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, or third-party payment app like Cash App, QuickPay, Venmo or Zelle. Demand immediate payment. Ask for a ComEd account number or other personal information, such as a Social Security number, driver’s license number or bank information.
- To identify an actual ComEd employee or communication, remember: All ComEd field employees wear a uniform with the ComEd logo and visibly display a company ID badge with the logo and employee’s name. ComEd recently changed its logo, so you may continue to see the former ComEd logo on uniforms, badges and vehicles until it is phased out. Check the name on email or websites and make sure they match the name and address of the company you do business with. Look for misspellings or slight alterations. Make a call to verify the suspected email or website is from a trusted source. Use a phone number from your personal business records or the company’s official website and not the number provided in the email.
ComEd urges anyone who believes they have been a target or victim of a scam to call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). To learn more visit ComEd.com/Scams.
BBB also urges anyone encountering a scam to report it to the BBB Scamtracker as a way to alert others and help protect the community. Consumers can also visit the BBB Scamtracker to view the latest scams nationally, right down to their community