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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Media Relations

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ComEd Joins Energy Companies Across North America in Fight Against Scammers

Utilities United Against Scams Day raises awareness and provides customers with
information to protect themselves

CHICAGO (Nov. 14, 2018) – ComEd is joining more than 100 energy companies across the United States and Canada in the effort to protect customers from scams targeting customers of electric, natural gas, water, and other utilities. ComEd and its sister Exelon companies – Atlantic City Electric, BGE, Delmarva Power, PECO, and Pepco – are committed to educating customers and putting a stop to scamming.

Energy companies have joined together for a third year to designate Nov. 14 as Utilities United Against Scams Day. A weeklong campaign, including social media and online content, will focus on exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers and how customers can protect themselves. The effort, which includes industry member organizations such as Edison Electric Institute, encourages companies to share these messages to help guard against scam and imposter activity.

"ComEd is committed to empowering our customers to recognize fraudulent activities and avoid becoming victims to scams," said Jane Park, senior vice president of Customer Operations at ComEd. "It's important that we bring information about how scammers operate to light to ensure that our customers can take the proper steps to protect themselves."

Customers who fall victim to scams typically receive an unsolicited phone call from someone who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer warns that the customer's service will be shut off if they fail to make a payment – usually within a short timeframe through a prepaid debit card.

Some scammers copy the upfront Interactive Voice Response system of some companies, so that when customers call the number the scammer provides, it sounds like a legitimate business. Some scammers also use caller ID "spoofing" to replicate a utility company's phone number.

Red flags for scam activity:

  • The scammer often becomes angry and tells a customer his or her account is past due and service will be shut off if a large payment isn't made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The scammer instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card – widely available at most retail stores – then call him or her back to make a payment.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card's receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the funds loaded to the card.

How to protect yourself:

  • Utility representatives will never ask or require a customer with a past due balance to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank withdrawal, mail, or in person.
  • Customers with a past due balance will receive multiple shut off notifications – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
  • If the legitimacy of a call is in question, hang up and call ComEd at 1-800-334-7661.

Customers can avoid being scammed by taking a few precautions:

  • Never provide social security numbers or personal information to anyone initiating contact claiming to be a utility representative or asking the customer to send money to another person or entity other than the local utility providers.
  • Always ask to see a company photo ID before allowing any utility worker into a home or business.
  • Never make a payment for services to anyone coming to the door of a home or business.

Any ComEd customer who believes he or she has been a target of a scam should contact their local police and call the company immediately at 1-800-334-7661 to report the situation. For additional information, please go to www.ComEd.com/scams.

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 4 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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.



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