‘Hang Up, Don’t Pay Up’ When Suspected Scammers Call

April 11, 2018

With utility scams on the rise, real customers of FirstEnergy utilities are speaking out about their encounters with fraudsters in a mini-documentary. The video, “Hang Up, Don’t Pay Up: When a Scammer Calls,” features two business owners contacted by phone scammers impersonating our employees, and provides tips for avoiding scams.

Last year, our utilities received 959 reports of scams from customers – more than twice the number received in 2016. The actual number of scam attempts is even higher since most are only reported to law enforcement or go unreported.

According to Gary Grant, vice president of Customer Service, scammers can be very convincing and often target those who are most vulnerable. “Many scammers prey on senior citizens or business owners who rely on electric service to run their businesses and make a living. We want others to hear directly from victims of attempted utility scams, in hopes they’ll learn how to spot a scam.”

The video is featured on FirstEnergy’s award-winning Scam and Fraud Information website. This site also describes some of the most widespread schemes targeting utility customers, and offers facts and safety reminders that can help customers avoid becoming a victim of these crimes.