Putnam County Sheriff Robert L. Langley, Jr. advises that citizens should be aware of an NYSEG “Green Dot Money Paks” Phone Scam. Over the past few years, during the summer months, local businesses in Putnam County have received phone calls from phony individuals who claim to be representatives from New York State Electric and Gas. The scammer informs the businesses that they are behind in their electricity bill. The scammer then warns the business that to avoid having their electric service from being shut off, they have to make payment immediately. The scammer then instructs the businesses that the only way to avoid an interruption of service is to purchase a “Green Dot Money Pak” and provide the card information.
These scam phone calls are usually received during busy hours of operation, making it more urgent for businesses to comply with the phony caller’s demand. Also, these scams are perpetrated during the warm summer months, when the loss of refrigeration, due to service interruption, adds pressure. NYSEG officials are aware of this scam and said customers should know their company never calls a customer who is in good standing or ever asks for payment by debit card. Customers, who need to make an urgent payment or who need to see if their account is properly credited, should call NYSEG at 1-800-600-2275. Customers, who have any questions about a call they have received for an overdue payment, are instructed to call 1-800-572-1111.
Sheriff Langley added, “Anyone believing that they have been victimized by this scam is asked to report it immediately to the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.ftc.gov/, their local police or the Sheriff’s Office at 845-225-4300.”