Beware of O&R scams, police advise

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MIDDLETOWN – The Middletown Police DepArtment has received a number of complaints from residents regarding a telephone scam involving individuals trying to represent themselves as employees of Orange and Rockland Utilities.

The current approach is for a scammer to contact an O&R customer and urge them to pay a delinquent bill.  The scammers – who may even make an O&R phone number show up on the customer’s caller ID screen – instruct the customer to buy a pre-paid card and load money onto it to pay the bill.

Once the customer puts money on the pre-paid card and provides the scammer with the card number, the scammer steals the money.

The scammer may be very convincing, and may make a threat to shut off service unless the customer immediately buys a pre-paid card and pays the bill.

These callers sometimes point the customer to a store that sells pre-paid cards.

The scammers target residential and business customers in all parts of O&R’s and Rockland Electric Company’s service area, but the Middletown area appears to be receiving a large number of calls recently, police said.

O&R does not accept payment by pre-paid debit cards, by MoneyGram or any similar transfers. The company also does not call customers and demand immediate payment.

Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the phone unless you are certain you are speaking to O&R. If you are unsure call 1-877-434-4100 to check.