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Con Edison Warns Public to Beware of 'Green Dot' Scams

In a press release dated June 25, 2012-

CON EDISON WARNS PUBLIC TO BEWARE OF 'GREEN DOT' SCAMS

NEW YORK – Con Edison is warning customers not to fall for a scam in which a caller says the customer must make a payment by purchasing a Green Dot Money Pak to avoid having utility service turned off.

These callers are not from Con Edison and Con Edison does not authorize payments of electric or gas bills by pre-paid debit cards such as the Green Dot Money Pak. While many retail stores accept the Green Dot Money Pak for payment, Con Edison does not.

The company has received reports from hundreds of customers who were contacted by the scammers. The scammer tells the customer the company will turn off service unless the customer makes a bill payment by purchasing a Green Dot pre-paid card.

The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer's home that sells Green Dot cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called.

Once the customer provides the Green Dot card number, the scammer steals the money on the card by transferring the money to a pre-paid card and cashing that card at an automated-teller machine.

There have even been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer's caller ID.

Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards of any kind as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative.

In addition, Con Edison warns customers against imposters coming to their home and claiming to be from the company. Any Con Edison employee arriving at your home or business to read your meter will have a visible photo identification badge.

Feel free to ask or check for identification before allowing anyone into your home or business. If you feel the person at your door may be an imposter, you can call 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633) to check.

Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an imposter or Green Dot scam should call their local police department. They may also call Con Edison.

For more information please visit Con Edison's website at www.conEd.com,