Utility Scammers Target Md. Business Owners

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Callers claiming to be with power companies are tricking Maryland business owners out of hundreds of dollars. Prince George's County Bureau reporter Zachary Kiesch spoke with a victim targeted by the scam. (Published Thursday, Jan 9, 2014)

    Officials are warning Maryland business owners of a new scam.

    Callers claiming to be working with utility companies are contacting business owners, saying the state has "mandated all commercial properties to have a new GPS meter installed at a cost of $500." The callers say the payment must be made within 30 minutes using a Green Dot MoneyPak card.

    According to Attorney General Doug Gansler, the scammers are using a "spoofing" technology so a legitimate utility company's number shows up on caller ID.

    “Safety is our top priority, and we want to advise our customers to verify the identity of anyone claiming to represent Pepco,” Pepco region president Donna Cooper said. “We’ve told customers since this scam surfaced a couple of years ago that when addressing past due accounts, Pepco never endorses a specific form of payment. Instead, we offer multiple payment options to customers.”

    If you believe you are being targeted by these scammers, officials recommend asking the callers for specific account information.