Prosecutor: Energy Provider Scam on the Rise

An alert from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office …

As temperatures drop, scammers go even lower. As such, we at MCPO want you to know how to protect yourself.

The Prosecutor’s Office has been made aware of the local recurrence of an attempted scam in which an individual goes door to door, asking homeowners to see their most recent energy bills, in an effort to purportedly sign them up for an alternative energy provider.

Not only does such a ruse make potential victims vulnerable to identity theft, but it raises the possibility of burglary or physical theft as well.

The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs advises consumers to be vigilant by refusing to fall for scare tactics or the “sense of urgency” that represent a hallmark of such in-person scams.

Other helpful tips include the following:

• Don’t allow any salesperson into your home without an appointment.

• Verify the veracity of what you’ve been told by contacting the energy company the salesperson purported to be affiliated with.

• Never turn over any personal identifying information or copies of your energy bills to salespersons who show up unannounced.

Consumers who believe they have been scammed by a business or individual, or suspect any other form of marketplace abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website, www.njconsumeraffairs.gov, or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within New Jersey) or 973-504-6200.

Stay vigilant! Stay safe! And stay warm!

John Caroli
BCS Wealth Management