Central Hudson warns of scam targeting utility customers
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. is warning its customers about a nationwide utility billing scam that aims to steal identities and utility payments.
The perpetrators tell customers about a utility bill assistance program authorized by President Barack Obama and funded by the Federal Reserve Bank, but no such program exists, Central Hudson said in a press release issued Thursday.
“Through phone calls, door-to-door visits or online solicitation, scammers are asking customers for personal information, such as Social Security identification numbers, to qualify for the assistance,” said Charles A. Freni, the utility’s senior vice president of customer Services. “They then provide victims with a bank routing number with which to pay their bills. The routing number is fraudulent, and the payments will not be applied to ... Central Hudson bills. There is also an extreme risk of identity theft involved with this scam.”
Freni said the scam has not yet surfaced in New York but has been reported in several other states.
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