Scammers Continue to Target CMP Customers
Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS
Corporate Communications - email@example.com
Media Contacts: Gail Rice, 207.622.NEWS
Scammers Continue to Target CMP Customers
Heeding prior warnings from the utility, customers are not taking the bait
AUGUSTA, Maine, August 13, 2014 " Customers of Central Maine Power Co., a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, continue to receive calls from scam artists claiming to represent the utility and demanding immediate payments. The good news: Customers are heeding CMP's warnings about the scams, and very few are taking the bait.
"While these scammers keep trying to get our customers to depart with some of their hard-earned money, very few people are falling for it. The word is out, and people know it's a scam," said CMP spokesperson Gail Rice. "This should serve as a message to these scam artists that they should stop wasting their time trying to defraud our customers."
Scammers have typically called business customers " often restaurants and markets just prior to their lunch or dinner rush periods " but they've also targeted residential customers. Some customers reported receiving multiple calls in the same day. Most are warned of imminent disconnection, instructed to purchase a pre-paid debit card at a local convenience store, and told to call a specific number with the card information. In some cases, the perpetrators told customers they hadn't received a recent payment or they had incorrectly processed a payment, and the customer had to pay again.
Rice added that some scammers have become increasingly creative in their efforts.
"Many of them use devices that spoof caller ID systems so the call looks like it's coming from CMP," she said. "Some of them even try to sweeten the deal with an offer of discounted service for the rest of the year. Fortunately, customers have taken notice of our prior warnings and know these calls are all scams."
CMP warns customers to verify all information before making such payments, and offers these tips to keep their account information secure:
CMP will not call a customer for payment if his or her account is in good standing.
CMP does not ask customers to purchase debit cards such as Green Dot MoneyPaks to make payments. Any instruction involving such a payment scheme should be considered a red flag.
Customers can check their balance at CMP's website at www.cmpco.com or by calling 1-800-750-4000 (residential customers) or 1-800-565-3181 (business customers).
Customers who need to make an urgent payment should do so only through the CMP website, or at one of the payment agents listed on the website at http://www.cmpco.com/YourAccount/payyourbill/paymentoptions/paymentagents.html.
Customers can avoid payment scams entirely and keep current on their CMP bills by enrolling in the utility's AutoPay service, where the amount due is automatically deducted from a bank account each month. More information on this payment option is at http://www.cmpco.com/YourAccount/payyourbill/paymentoptions/autopay.html.
The identity of any CMP employee can be verified by asking for their photo ID card (if in person) or their employee number, then contacting CMP at 1.800.750.4000 to verify their identity and the nature of their business. Our employees are happy to comply with an identity verification request.
CMP urges customers who have any questions about a call for an overdue payment to call CMP at 1-800-750-4000.
Additional information on avoiding scams can be found at CMP's website: http://www.cmpco.com/YourAccount/payyourbill/PaymentScams.html.
Customers who believe they have been scammed should contact their local law enforcement agency and the Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov/).
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About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine's largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine's annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit www.cmpco.com/.
About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA is the U.S. subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A. The Iberdrola USA companies employ about 5,000 people with operations in 24 states from New England to the West Coast, providing electricity generation, transmission and distribution, natural gas storage and distribution, and energy services. For more information, please visit our website: www.iberdrolausa.com. Follow us on Twitter: @IberdrolaUSA