County Executive Bello speaks on RG&E scam number
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Following a News10NBC Investigation, Monroe County Executive Adam Bello has requested that Attorney General Letitia James investigate how scammers took over a toll-free number for hearing/speech impairment customers printed on all RG&E bills.
Bello’s request follows a report by News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke which aired Wednesday, in which she uncovered the scam.
After seeing Lewke’s report, Bello says he quickly reached out to Attorney General Letitia James who, like many RG&E customers, wants to know how a scam phone number ended up on utility bills. Bello says he sprung into action to protect the community.
“I called to put this on the Attorney General’s radar and I’m delighted that the Attorney General decided this afternoon to open an inquiry into this,” Bello said.
He said this is an issue that could affect thousands of RG&E customers, “I even looked at my own bill,”
Bello said. “I pulled it up when I woke up this morning and pulled it up on my app and noticed that bad number so we really need to get that message out to residents.”
For RG&E customers like Victoria Pacheco, finding out about the scam phone number was a disappointment, but not a surprise.
“A friend of mine had indicated that they had called a number and that there was a scam whereby they were fraudulently charged,” Pacheco said.
That is one of many reasons why Pacheco attended the Rochester City Council meeting Thursday night to voice her concerns about the scam and the billing issues that have been plaguing the utility, “the billing structure for which they have as far as billing, is incompetent,” she tells News10NBC.
Bello says he also contacted RG&E this afternoon and says the utility acknowledged the problem and is taking action to correct it.
“It really is the result of the Channel 10 story,” Bello said. “This is all just really unfolding now. So, I just think the first immediate issue here is to spread the word and make sure that they know they can contact the attorney general’s office but also to make sure people are aware not to call that number that’s on their bill.”
Bello said that on his call with RG&E, the CEO called the scam phone number on customer
More about RG&E billing issues:
- RG&E’s toll free TTY number goes to scammers (March 17)
- Palmyra family gets $13K bill from NYSEG (Feb. 9)
- Public packs hearing on RG&E billing, customer service issues (Feb. 7)
- 7k RG&E bill turns into 8K bill credit which turns into a shut-off notice (Feb. 2)
- How to fight back against RG&E billing errors and shut-off notices (Feb. 2)
- Customers express frustration at virtual forums about RG&E billing issues (Feb. 1)
- Billing and customer service problems continue at RG&E (Jan. 24)
- Following News10NBC investigation, state regulators expand probe into RG&E and NYSEG (Dec. 28)
- Frustrated homebuilder encounters more problems with RG&E (Dec. 16)
- Greece housing development slowed over struggles to get RG&E power (Dec. 12)
- RG&E billing chaos continues (Nov. 30)
- New Business Spends 17+ Hours Trying to Get RG&E to Hook up Gas Line (Nov. 4)
- Business customers having issues with RG&E too (Oct. 28)
- NYS regulators launch new investigation into RG&E (Oct. 27)
- RG&E President: ‘We’re in the storm’ of customer service issues (Oct. 27)
- RG&E threatening to shut off customers for uninspected meters (Oct. 5)
- Lifespan Helping Elderly Customers Worried about High RG&E Bills (Sept. 23)
- RG&E president responds to billing issues and PSC penalty (Sept. 14)
- RG&E penalized $900,000 for missing bill service quality metric (Sept. 14)
- Hilton Man Gets $7,622 Bill from RG&E (Sept. 13)
- RG&E and NYSEG to begin installing smart meters across the region (Sept. 6)
- President of RG&E: “We’re working on ways to make billing more efficient” (Sept. 5)
- An Irondequoit man’s big RG&E bill spurs a call to News10NBC (Aug. 31)
- After months of no bills, pizza shop owner gets $6,168 RG&E bill (March 29)
- ‘We were shocked’: Marion family facing nearly $1K utility bill (Feb. 14)