RG&E, NYSEG warning customers to beware of bill-payment scams

Created: 02/04/2014 10:42 AM WHEC.com

RG&E and NYSEG tell News10NBC they continue to learn of customers being contacted by e-mail, phone or in person and asked to pay current or past due charges on their account. Company officials say any money paid then ends up with scammers.

Officials say utility customers can be an easy target for scammers because most everyone is a customer of an energy company and pays utility bills.

NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to take the following precautions to avoid falling victim to a scam:

- Always type the NYSEG or RG&E Web address when making an online payment; do not rely on email links. At nyseg.com and rge.com, customers can check account balances and any past-due amounts.

- When making a payment by phone, always confirm the NYSEG or RG&E phone numbers. Customers should not make payments by phone to anyone who has contacted them or asked them to dial a number other than a NYSEG or RG&E number.  

- Don’t trust links in emails when paying NYSEG or RG&E by credit card – go directly to nyseg.com or rge.com to complete credit card transactions.

- If paying by mail, the addresses are: NYSEG, P.O. Box 11745, Newark, NJ 07101-4745; RG&E, P.O. Box 11747, Newark, NJ 07101-4747.

- NYSEG and RG&E bills may be paid at an authorized pay agent, at a Walmart location or at a company walk-in office.

- If paying using an online payment service (for example, through a bank), always follow the payment service’s instructions to ensure account security.

- Never provide Social Security numbers, credit card numbers or bank information to anyone requesting it (over the phone or in person) unless the customer has initiated the contact and feels confident that the transaction is legitimate.

- NYSEG and RG&E will never ask customers to purchase a debit card to make a payment.

- To confirm the identity of any NYSEG or RG&E employee: ask for a photo ID card (if in person) or ask for their employee number. Then contact NYSEG (1.800.572.1111) or RG&E

(1.800.743.2110) to verify the individual’s identity and the nature of their business. NYSEG and RG&E employees are happy to comply with an identity confirmation request.

Officials say it's also important to note:

- NYSEG and RG&E will not call customers for payment if an account is in good standing.

- Customers who need to make an urgent payment should do so by calling NYSEG directly at 1.800.600.2275 to ensure that their account is properly credited. RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.2110.

- Customers who have any questions about a call they have received for an overdue payment are likewise urged to contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1111; RG&E at 1.800.743.2110.

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