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Scammers Target Avon Businesses

Police say the scam came in the form of a phone call from someone pretending to be a utility company.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo

Since May 1, eight local businesses filed complaints with Avon Police after receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be a Connecticut Light and Power representative.

The caller informs the person that they have a past due balance on their CL&P bill and if they don’t pay, power will be shut off within the next 45 minutes. What makes the calls seem legitimate is that the caller recites the actual CL&P account number that belongs to the business, as well as its current balance.

The number on caller ID shows up as a seemingly real CL&P phone number. These calls are scams, according to Avon Police.

A Waterford resident reported receiving a scam call from someone claiming to be from CL&P. The number that showed up on their caller ID was 860-978-0130, according to Waterford Police.

Here’s how the reported scammers proceed with the call. The caller informs the business owner to go to CVS and buy a green dot card in the amount of their fake past due amount. These cards are pre-funded debit cards and where the funds are sent to cannot be tracked, police said.

The callers ask for the business owners to call back with the serial number on the green dot card and then the funds can be accessed by the scammers.

CL&P is aware of the scam and is working with the Avon Police Department. The utility company released the following statement:

"Unfortunately, this is a persistent issue we are seeing across the country, with scammers trying to take advantage of utility customers by misrepresenting themselves as employees,” said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Northeast Utilities, parent company of CL&P. “We will continue our proactive outreach to remind customers to never give out their personal financial information over the phone. lf customers are skeptical, we urge them to report the incident to our customer service department at 800--286-2000, or to the local authorities."

If you’ve been a victim of this scam or any others, Avon Police ask you to call 860-409-4200 to file a police report.
Diane B. Kowalczyk May 16, 2014 at 11:07 AM
scarey enough, yes, but what I REALLY want to know is how did these scammers acquire the real balances due and account numbers that match up with customer contact info. Sounds like a serious security and privacy breach at CL&P data end...
Igor May 23, 2014 at 09:33 AM
If it is a breach then they can get in line with Target, the VA, EBay,People's bank. When are these companies going to be held libel for their mistakes?

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