Don’t Let an Electricity Scam Fool You
With lower electricity rates this spring, companies are on the hunt for new customers. But unfortunately, there are also some people out to scam you. So when the phone rings, or there’s a knock on the door, what do you do? We’ve got answers for you here.
Leave Phone Scammers Hanging
We’ve all received a scam call at some point. But it’s easy to be swayed by what sounds like a good deal. Thankfully, phone scams are easy to spot. Here are a few things to look out for.
Firstly, the PA PUC enforces regulations for electricity providers that call you. Callers must immediately identify accurately themselves and the reason for the call. However, scammers can spoof phone numbers to misrepresent themselves. If a caller doesn’t immediately identify themselves, hang up.
Secondly, scammers can use your PA utility company account information to switch your electricity providers without your consent. Known as slamming it’s a common illegal scam. Never give out your account number or other personal information to an unknown caller.
Lastly, take your time. A legitimate customer service agent will be patient, and happily answer any questions you have. If the person on the other line is in a rush, it’s likely a scam. When in doubt, hang up.
Escape a Door-to-Door Scam
Unfortunately, sometimes a scammer will show up on your doorstep. Legitimate energy suppliers must follow a set of PA PUC rules for door to door sales. Protect yourself with these tips.
Firstly, check their identification. Anyone going door-to-door must wear a visible badge at all times showing their full name and picture. This has to include the supplier’s information and phone number. Agents must also immediately state who they are and the reason for the visit. Always ask for their ID and call the company to confirm the information. Note, too, that your PA utility company will never sell plans on behalf of electricity suppliers nor threaten to shut off your electricity.
Secondly, protect your personal information. Never provide a stranger your bank number, ID, electricity bill, or account information. Agents may not demand to see your bill. A common scam is to say that your current provider is going out of business, and that you need to pick a competitive rate. If a sales agent tries this, it’s a scam.
Lastly, know your rights. In PA, door to door sales are allowed between 9am and 7pm. And some local laws are more strict. If someone comes to your door outside of these hours, report them. Legitimate agents also must leave when asked. And, if you do sign a contract you aren’t sure about, you legally have three days to cancel.
Report a Scam When it Happens
The PUC encourages people to contact the Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380 to report any scams. Then, if the scammer came to your door, we also advise contacting your police non-emergency line and filing a report. In addition, if the scammer claimed to represent your provider or utility, you can contact them directly to report the scam. Reporting scammers helps everyone.
Shop with PA Energy Ratings
So who can you trust to give you the best energy rate? Don’t worry. You can compare rates, read provider reviews, and save money all with one trusted site. Visit https://www.paenergyratings.com to compare and shop the best rates and plans in PA.