Some readers of The Dundalk Eagle submitted reports in the past about a scam that was happening around parts of Dundalk.
The scam in question pertained to fraudulent newspaper subscription sales. Another reader has reported to this publication about an interaction they had with an alleged scammer. This alleged scammer claimed to be a representative of BGE, a gas and electric utility.
The resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said a man claiming to be an employee with BGE visited her Westfield Road home on Feb. 15. When they answered the door and listened to the man’s greeting, they immediately challenged the man’s claim.
The resident described the man at their door as standing at 5-foot-9 or 5-foot-10, Asian complexion with dark hair parted to one side. The man was wearing black pants, a long black coat and brown shoes, according to the resident.
When the resident challenged the man’s claim as being an employee with BGE, the man changed his claim and stated that he was a representative of a third-party utility supplier. The resident told this newspaper that they later saw the man talking with a neighbor across the street, and they called 9-1-1 to report the alleged scam.
According to BGE’s official website, BGE has seen an increase in reports of individuals calling BGE customers and falsely claiming their electric or gas service will be disconnected unless payment is made. These impersonators instruct customers to buy a prepaid credit card and call back to a different phone number with the personal identification number (PIN) or other personal information.
They also use a tactic called “spoofing” to manipulate the Caller ID displayed phone number so that it appears as a BGE number. BGE also cautions customers to be mindful of individuals who try to gain access to their homes by posing as utility workers. Utility impostors may carry “official” looking credentials and often work in pairs.
BGE tells its customers that the company will never ask for cash or request customers to sign up for a prepaid credit card over the phone. Don’t answer the door for people you don’t recognize. Instead, ask for photo identification through a window. All BGE employees and contractors carry company ID badges displaying their name, photograph and identification number, according to BGE’s website. Customers who wish to verify a BGE employee’s identity or work being done are encouraged to call 1- 800-685-0123.
Any person who feels they have been targeted by a scam is encouraged to dial 9-1-1.