By Hadas Kuznits

PECO, the electric utility, is putting out a warning to its customers regarding a phone scam making the rounds.

Ben Armstrong with Peco says the scam involves calls to customers from the 718 area code.  The scammer tells the customers they are deliquent on their account and need to pay the balance in order to avoid a service shutoff.

“They’re being told to go to a local drug store — a Walgreens or a CVS — and purchase what’s called a ‘Green Dot Visa’ card, and that Visa card will then be used to bring their account balance up to date.  However, the people that are contacting these customers are not working for Peco,” Armstrong tells KYW Newsradio.

And Armstrong says customers are being asked to pay balances in $100 increments, between one hundred and four hundred dollars, but notes that “very rarely would you have an amount due on your account that would be a round number.”

He says it’s been going on for about a month now:

“So far we have identified five people who have been taken advantage of by these people that are calling them.”

What if you get such a call?  Armstrong notes that a genuine Peco rep would be able to provide you with details a scammer wouldn’t:

“And that would be the name on the account, the address on the account, the specific account number, as well as any past payment history.”

If you believe you’ve been targeted, Armstrong is asking you to call Peco right away.

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