May 7, 2015 6:14 PM
BOW - A scam alert to pass along tonight.
People have been calling unsuspecting residents and business owners throughout New Hampshire threatening to turn off their power if they don’t pay the bill.
Trouble is on the other end of the line, the person isn’t from the electric company.
And the number of cases here in the Granite State is on the rise.
The call came in here at Zero Waste in Now earlier this week.
“They said they were going to shut off our power within 30 minutes,” said Stanley Emanuel, owner of Zero Waste.
Scammers on the line saying if the bill didn't get paid, they’d turn off the lights to the company he’s owned for the past 19 years.
“They wanted cash and I was eating lunch in Concord and I said I'm sorry, I don't have $1,700 in cash on me,” he said.
Emanuel didn't fall for it but some people are and they’re shelling out hundreds of dollars.
The thieves are targeting residents and business owners, alike.
So far, Eversource customers have called three different police departments, including Rochester, Portsmouth, and Bow.
They claim that there’s a truck down the street and they’ll turn off the account if the person don't pay the so-called bill in half an hour.
New Hampshire Electric Co-Op customers are getting scammed, too.
So far, nearly a dozen customers falling prey to the scammers.
The company said it’s primarily business owners in Plymouth and in some areas in the Lake Region.
And get this. The caller id is pretty convincing. The company’s name pops right up.
Victims are told to pay up to an account that's not even there's at a nearby payment location center, like the grocery store.
As for Unitil customers, a company spokesman said they haven't gotten any complaint calls recently but they say, it’s very similar to scams in the past.
“I feel bad for a lot of people because I like to think that I'm not that gullible but they were convincing,” said Emanuel.
The bottom line is that no electric company will call you out of the blue or go door to door and threaten to disconnect your account without you getting at least one past due bill.
If you believe you've been scammed, here’s the contact information for the electric companies.
NHEC - 800-698-2007
Unitil -- 800-852-3339 in the Concord area and 800-582-7276 in the Seacoast area.
Eversource - 800-662-7764
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