PEARL RIVER – Orange and Rockland Utilities is reporting a significant increase in customers being targeted by imposters claiming to be from O&R and demanding immediate payment of a bill.
The scammers tell customers their power will be shut off if they do not make the payment. Often customers are told to purchase a pre-paid card or arrange for a transfer via MoneyGram to pay a bill.
The scammers sometimes tell the customer about a store near their home where they can buy pre-paid cards. The crook then instructs the customer to put cash on the card and then provide the card number to the person who called. Once the number is provided, the scammer steals it.
With MoneyGram, scammers may ask a customer to provide money from a bank account, credit or debit card by going online or to a specified location. They money goes into someone else’s bank account or is available for the receiver to pick up in cash.
O&R urges customers to never provide a Social Security number, credit card number of banking information to anyone requesting it unless you initiated the contact and know the identity of the person with whom you are speaking.
Anyone who feels they may have been a target or an imposter or a payment scam should report it to their local police or call O&R at 1-877-434-4100.