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Utility warns against payment scam

Western Mass. Electric Co. is warning customers of a growing scam involving phone calls from potential thieves claiming to represent the local utility. The scammers are advising customers their electricity could be immediately disconnected unless they purchase a Green Dot pre-paid card and follow specific steps to process their payment.

“We are urging customers to be on alert for this type of scam and we have been in contact with law enforcement officials investigating the case,” said Penni Conner of Northeast Utilities, WMECo’s parent company. “If any of our customers suspect someone is making a false claim about being a representative of WMECo, they should immediately end the call and notify us.

In incidents brought to WMECo’s attention, the details of the scam have been similar. The caller tells the customers electricity will be shut off if they don’t make a payment within one to four hours. The caller then tells the customer they can only pay using a Green Dot card that can be purchased at local pharmacies and retail stores. A callback number is provided and, from there, the scammer walks the customer through the entire payment process.

WMECo does not require customers to purchase any type of pre-paid card to pay their bill. WMECo also has several options if you are having trouble making payments. You can check them out at: http://www.wmeco.com/residential/paymentassistance.aspx

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