For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
First-ever "Utilities United Against Scams Day" brings together dozens of utilities from across the United States and Canada
CHICAGO (November 16, 2016) – Illinois utilities – ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, and North Shore Gas – have joined forces with dozens of natural gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada, including other Exelon utilities Atlantic City Electric, BGE, Delmarva, PECO, and Pepco, to help protect customers from wide-spread scams targeting customers of utility service providers.
The cohort, known as Utilities United Against Scams collaboration, have designated November 16th as "Utilities United Against Scams Day." This day will be supported by a week-long campaign with content focused on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. The collaborative encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.
"ComEd is committed to helping our customers avoid becoming victims to these fraudulent scams and we're glad be a part of this important national awareness campaign," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs, ComEd. "Over the past year we have seen a tremendous increase in phone impersonations where scam artists call customers claiming to a utility representative. By joining with other utilities in Illinois and across the country, we are raising greater awareness among our customers and hopefully putting an end to these scams once and for all."
"Safety is our number-one value, and this important awareness effort exemplifies our commitment to safety," said Jim Griffin, vice president of Operations, Nicor Gas. "Raising awareness and informing customers of these dangerous scammers is critical in putting a stop to their predatory and fraudulent tactics."
"Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas care about the safety of our customers," said Michelle Rindt, vice president – customer service, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. "Raising awareness of possible scams and educating our customers are a few ways we aim to protect them and their personal information from scammers."
When being scammed, a customer typically receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a utility representative. The scammer warns that the customer's service will be disconnected if the customer fails to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe.
Scammers have even duplicated the upfront Interactive Voice Response system, so when customers call back phone numbers provided by the scammer, it sounds like a legitimate phone number. Some of these criminals also use caller ID spoofing to replicate a customer service number.
Red flags for scam activity
How to protect customers
Anyone who believes he or she has been a target of a phone scam is urged to contact the Illinois Attorney General's office toll free at 1-800-386-5438 (TTY 1-800-964-3013) or visit the Illinois Attorney General's web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov and click on the link "Protecting Consumers."
Don't Get Scammed: Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit
ComEd.com, and connect with the company on
Nicor Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.1 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas are both subsidiaries of WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) and regulated natural gas delivery companies. Peoples Gas serves approximately 830,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the city of Chicago. North Shore Gas serves approximately 159,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 54 communities within the northern suburbs of Chicago. For more information about natural gas safety, energy efficiency and other energy-related topics, visit northshoregasdelivery.com, or www.peoplesgasdelivery.com.