Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published July 12, 2012

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company Warns Customers to be Aware of Utility Imposters

Scam artists may be misrepresenting themselves as BGE employees in order to steal cash or gain entry into customers’ homes

Elderly and limited-income customers are commonly targeted

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) today cautioned customers to be aware of individuals posing as BGE employees in order to gain access to their homes and businesses. Periodically, people posing as BGE employees visit customers, usually seeking entry into their homes to attempt to steal money and other valuables. Occasionally, these scam artists call customers seeking credit card or other personal information. Many times, they indicate that they’re trying to collect payment on a past-due BGE bill and threaten to suspend service if the “payment” isn’t made. Imposters may carry “official-looking” credentials and many times work in pairs.

“BGE reminds customers that employees carry photo identification cards, which should always be visible, especially during rare instances when a BGE employee must visit a customer’s home,” said Jeannette M. Mills, vice president and chief customer officer for BGE. “Customers can always call BGE to verify an individual visiting their home is a BGE employee. As a reminder, BGE no longer accepts cash payments in the field and generally only requires entry into a customer’s home in response to gas or electric emergencies, to check BGE equipment, read BGE meters or to start or stop service. Additionally, customers should never give personal information such as credit card numbers to people claiming to represent BGE in telephone calls. BGE works with local law enforcement to address this issue, but also urges customers to use common sense if confronted with this type of situation.”

BGE regularly advises customers about imposters and how to avoid becoming a victim in its monthly bill insert, BGE Connections.

BGE recommends that customers take an active role in ensuring their safety against imposters by taking the following steps:

Customers should never open their door to someone they don’t recognize and should always ask for a photo ID through the door or window, especially if you did not request a visit from BGE.

All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges displaying their name, photograph and identification number. To verify a BGE employee’s identity or work being done at your home, call BGE at 800-685-0123.

For your convenience and safety, BGE will bill you for all repair work and not ask for a payment at time of service.

Customers who encounter suspicious activity or suspected utility imposters are urged to contact the police immediately.

Customers seeking energy assistance are encouraged to reach out directly to the energy assistance agencies such as the Maryland Office of Home Energy Program. Customers should work directly with those agencies for safety.

BGE encourages customers to share these safety tips with elderly family members, friends and children.

BGE customers have the option of purchasing natural gas and electricity from third-party suppliers and representatives of these companies may contact customers in person, by mail or telephone seeking their business. They may also ask to see the customer’s BGE bill. Representatives of third-party suppliers should carry identification from the company for which they work, not BGE. Customers should not hesitate to ask to see their badge and verify their identification.