BGE warning customers of increased COVID-19 scams

Posted at 10:54 AM, Sep 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-29 10:59:25-04

BALTIMORE — BGE is warning its customers of increased scams during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September alone, BGE says they've received nearly 1500 complaints with customers reporting $25,000 in losses.

One of the most frequent scams are are robo calls.

Targeted customers are told to “press 1” for information on their bill and how to make a payment.

Once it's pressed, a live person gets on the line demanding immediate payment or personal information.

RELATED: BGE seeing a huge spike in scam attempts

Another scam is one that falsely claims “your meter needs to be switched out immediately or your power will be turned off.”

In this case, customers are texted a barcode and asked to make payment through Cashapp, Bitcoin, Zelle or Green Dot.

Scammers are also using caller ID "spoofing," which impersonates a number belonging to BGE with a made-up message.

“These scammers are constantly changing their tactics and it’s important that we remind our customers to stay vigilant to avoid becoming victims,” said Tamla Olivier, senior vice president of customer operations and chief customer officer for BGE.

Here are some tips from BGE to prevent you from being a scam victim.

  • BGE will never ask a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers will never receive a single phone call claiming they have one hour before they are disconnected unless they pay immediately. If a customer has a past due balance, they will receive multiple notifications requesting payment.
  • BGE will never ask customers for information BGE already has, including choice ID numbers, social security numbers or any other personal information.
  • BGE will not call customers to offer a discount or rebate.
  • If a call does not seem like it is from BGE, customers should hang up and call BGE’s Customer Care representatives immediately at 1-800-685-0123.