Western Mass. Electric Warns of Late Payment Scam
BOSTON (WGGB/AP) — Western Massachusetts Electric is warning about a scam targeting their customers.
In the scam, someone calls homeowners or businesses and says their power will be shut off unless they make immediate payment.
The scammers tell the targeted customer the only way to keep the power on is to pay quickly using an untraceable pre-paid debit card, such as the Green Dot or Vanilla Reload Network card, or by making a Western Union money transfer.
Utility officials say they never demand instant payment over the phone and don’t require the use of pre-paid debit cards.
Customers scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive sufficient written notice.
Western Mass. Electric spokesperson Priscilla Ress notes that customers can verify they are speaking with a WMECo employee by asking for the caller to confirm some basic information, including the customer’s name, account address, and exact past due balance.
Anyone who receive these calls is asked to report them to the company by calling customer service at (877) 659-6326.
A similar warning is going out to those with electric service from NStar. Both NStar and WMECo are both divisions on Northeast Utilities.