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The original item was published from 1/20/2014 8:45:54 PM to 4/1/2014 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: January 20, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Scam artists targeting residents require a bill be paid, or an email responded to.
• In PEPCO's case, scammers posing as third-party energy suppliers are sending fake utility bills via email to some utility customers. The email asks that customers click on a link contained within the email. It is suspected that, by clicking the link, the customer’s computer could become infected with a virus or malware. Who knows what data they may go after. Don't have your identity stolen!
Pepco asks customers to only pay their utility bill by visiting or by sending the hard copy of the remittance portion of the invoice through the mail. Customers should not open any email asking that payment be made on their utility bill unless sent by Pepco or by the customers’ respective third party energy supplier.
Many companies, including Pepco, contact customers in person or via phone for various reasons. If someone claims to represent a company, whether the company is Pepco or another entity, it is important that customers take precautions to verify that the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate monetary payment. When addressing past due accounts, Pepco never endorses a specific form of payment. Instead, multiple payment options are always given to the customer.
Pepco advises customers to ask for official photo identification from any person who shows up at their door. Employees from reputable companies, such as Pepco, will carry official company identification cards. If proper identification cannot be produced, customers should notify police and the company with whom the individual claims to be associated.
Similarly, if someone calls saying they represent a certain company, customers should ask them to verify their identity and affiliation. If customers have any doubt about the validity of a person’s claim to represent Pepco, they should call the company immediately at 202-833-7500.

• Regarding PG County: Don't believe a flyer asking for fire inspection fees.

Also, WSSC wants all customers to know that:
• All WSSC employees are required to carry and prominently display their WSSC photo ID badges. When in doubt, customers should demand to see the employee’s ID badge for verification.
• All WSSC workers who need access to customers’ homes, properties or businesses drive blue vans, trucks or cars, clearly marked with the WSSC name and water drop logo.
• Most WSSC work in the field is conducted outside of homes.
• WSSC employees will never ask for payment at your home.
• Ask anyone potentially posing as a WSSC employee for his or her supervisor's name and telephone number.
If you fear for your safety, call 911. To report suspicious activities involving WSSC employees or vehicles, please call your local police immediately (301-839-4040) and then call WSSC at 301-206-8888.
These fraudsters tend to work throughout a region, so everyone in the D.C. metro area should be alert for similar flyers. If in doubt, ask a friend or relative to read a suspicious solicitation.

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