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January 13th, 2014

 

Central Hudson warns Customers of Phone Scam

 

Central Hudson Warns Customers of Phone ScamPOUGHKEEPSIE, New York. – Central Hudson Gas & Electric warned customers of a recent scam related to bill payments that has targeted businesses and residents, not only by phone, but also within emails and in person.

“Many of these scams are taking place nationwide, however our customers should be aware of those that have been reported locally,” said Charles A. Freni, senior vice president of customer services.

“Several Central Hudson customers were recently contacted over the telephone by a person claiming to be with Central Hudson, indicating that their account is past due and directing them to pay their utility bill through a pay-back money card,” Freni said.

He also reported that the scammers are asking customers to purchase prepaid cards using cash at stores such as Rite Aid drugstores, CVS and Walgreens. Then they are instructed to call a specific number operated by the scammers, in order to provide details of the prepaid card they have just purchased. The perpetrators have also threatened victims by indicating that if the payment is not provided, the utility services will be suspended.

It has also been reported that residents have been approached on the phone by a scammer who claims to be an employee of a national collection agency who has been instructed by Central Hudson to obtain payments by credit card for outstanding bills.

“Central Hudson would never request a bill payment in this way, and has notified law enforcement officials of these scams. If there is any uncertainty regarding these phone calls, customers should hang up and call Central Hudson at 845-452-2700 directly for confirmation. We also urge customers to report these attempts to local authorities if victimized or contacted.” said Freni.

Phone numbers, street and email addresses associated with customer accounts are never shared by Central Hudson without permission. Customers receiving personal visits, calls or emails are warned not to provide or verify their utility account or other personal information such as credit card, Social Security or bank routing numbers.

 

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