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For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Scammers target vulnerable customers
CHICAGO (Sept. 17, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a financial toll on families and businesses across northern Illinois, scammers are increasing their efforts to take advantage of vulnerable customers who may be struggling to pay their bills.
Even before the pandemic, ComEd had experienced a 60-percent increase in reports of scams and attempted scams into its call center since 2017. More recently, imposters posing as ComEd employees are approaching individuals and businesses to attempt to steal their money, as well as personal and business information.
"During the pandemic, ComEd has received reports of scammers, posing as utility representatives, contacting customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying their bills," said Nichole Owens, ComEd vice president of customer channels. "These imposters prey on these customers' financial situation by falsely threatening to shut off service to obtain money or a customer's personal, business or financial information."
One tactic scammers use with more frequency is "spoofing" ComEd's name and phone number. Spoofing uses technology to change the caller's identification information so that ComEd's name and phone number appear in the customer's caller ID display. Another tactic involves sending emails with slight modifications to the ComEd name to make it appear it is coming from the energy company. Scammers may even demand that an individual make a direct payment with a prepaid cash card or instruct a business to deposit a payment in an alternate account.
Tips to help homeowners identify scams
ComEd will never visit or call a customer's home or business to:
Scammers rapidly change their tactics so if you are suspicious of any energy-related request or actions, stop what you are doing and call ComEd immediately at 1-800-EDISON-1 (1-800-334-7661). Businesses can call 1-877-426-6331. For more tips on identifying energy-related scams, visit ComEd.com/ScamAlert.
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
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