Published in VT Digger – 9/3/2020
Utilities Warn of Scam Threatening to Cut Power Unless Customers Make Immediate Payment; Encourage Customers to Hang Up and Report Scam
Colchester, VT – Vermont utilities are warning customers of a phone scam today. In a sudden surge of calls, the scammers claim to be from a Vermont utility, including Green Mountain Power (GMP), Burlington Electric Department (BED), VGS, Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC), Vermont Public Power Supply Authority (VPPSA), and Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC), and then demand immediate payment and threaten to cut off power. Your local utilities would never treat its customers in this manner. If you receive such a call, just hang up – it is a scam.
In an effort to inform others about the fake calls, customers started alerting their utilities just before noontime that scam callers are busy working the phones today. Dozens of customers have reported the scam calls so far.
Customers are urged to remember that, if they receive calls like this, they should hang up. Also, we recommend that our customers:
• Do not provide payment or personal information;
• Do not engage with the caller;
• Do not call back that number; and
• Call customer service to report the scam and any details, including the number the call came from, the caller’s name, and what the caller said.
• GMP 888-835-4672
• BED 802-865-7300
• VGS 802-863-4511
• VEC 800-832-2667
• VPPSA 802-244-7678
• WEC 800-932-5245
Customers also are encouraged to report this scam to the Vermont Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program at 800-649-2424 (in state) or 802-656-3183 or online at https://ago.vermont.gov/cap/.
About Burlington Electric Department
Burlington Electric Department, Vermont’s largest municipal utility, serves more than 21,000 customers in Burlington. BED has a strong track record on energy efficiency, and Burlington as a whole uses approximately 8.8 percent less electricity today than in 1989. In 2014, Burlington became the first city in the nation to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable generation. Following that accomplishment, BED and the City of Burlington are working hard on the goal of becoming a Net Zero Energy city across the electric, thermal, and ground transportation sectors by 2030.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 266,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). J.D. Power’s 2018 and 2019 rankings put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction. In 2019 and 2020 GMP was named “One of the Best Places to Work in Vermont” by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and was the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award in 2019.
VGS is a leader in energy efficiency and innovation, offering a clean, safe, affordable choice for over 53,000 homes, businesses, and institutions in Franklin, Chittenden and Addison counties. The company plays an important role in Vermont’s clean energy future by displacing higher-emitting fuels, offering renewable natural gas service and delivering award-winning energy efficiency programs. For more information about Vermont Gas visit www.vgsvt.com.
About Vermont Public Power Supply Authority
VPPSA provides municipal electric utility members with a broad spectrum of services and solutions, including regulatory assistance, financial planning, and power supply. VPPSA members include Barton Village, Village of Enosburg Falls, Hardwick Electric Department, Village of Jacksonville Electric Company, Village of Johnson Electric Department, Ludlow Electric Light Department, Lyndonville Electric Department, Morrisville Water & Light Department, Town of Northfield Electric Department, Village of Orleans, and Swanton Village Electric Department. For more information, visit www.vppsa.com.
About Washington Electric Cooperative
Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric utility founded in 1939. WEC serves approximately 10,800 member-owners in 41 towns throughout Washington, Orange, Caledonia and Orleans counties with power generated from 100 percent renewable sources. WEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer. For more information please visitwww.washingtonelectric.coop or call 802-223-5245.
About Vermont Electric Cooperative
Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC), established in 1938, is a non-profit, member-owned electric distribution utility that provides safe, affordable, and reliable electric service to approximately 32,000 members in 75 communities in northern Vermont. Nationally recognized for innovative and advanced use of technology, VEC is the largest locally-owned electric distribution utility in Vermont. www.vermontelectric.coop