New Scheme To Defraud Residents Reported In Lakewood

A TLS reader reached out with the following story, warning others to be cautious and double-check facts when receiving phone calls from individuals making dubious claims. 

The reader said she received a call at home from a man purporting to be from JCP&L who said that her electricity payments were overdue and that she must pay up or her lights would be shut off within the next several hours. Understandably concerned, the Lakewood resident asked the caller for the number of the JCP&L billing department so she could pay her bill. The man gave her the correct number to the JCP&L billing department and then hung up.

Moments later, the resident received another call, with the Caller ID showing it was from the JCP&L billing department. The individual on the other end demanded that she provide payment to him or her electricity would be shut off. Realizing something wasn’t right, she hung up and called JCP&L directly, whose representatives assured her that she 1) had no outstanding bills 2) they don’t ever call people and threaten to shut off their electricity for unpaid bills – something will come in the mail, and 3) due to the coronavirus pandemic they are not legally allowed to shut off anyone’s electricity, even if they haven’t been paying their bills.

If you do receive a call from someone threatening to cut off your utilities, having you arrested, or other demands for your money that come out of the blue, keep in mind that it is almost definitely a scam. All legitimate organizations – governmental or otherwise – will send you multiple reminders in the mail before laying penalties on you.

In situations like these, a liberal dose of skepticism is healthy. Always verify and double-verify before ever giving out personal or payment information.

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  1. Change the line from it is almost definitly a scam to it is definitly a scam, utility companies and government agencies dont call anyone ever, for payment.

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