The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) and the Department of Public Service are alerting consumers of a phone scam in which scammers are threatening to suspend electricity services unless they receive payment for past due balances. Payment has been requested by means of untraceable services such as money transfer apps, including Cash App.
Scammers may also attempt to steal personal information from unsuspecting victims. In these cases, the caller “spoofs” the official phone number of the Department of Public Service and calls individuals seeking payment for outstanding utility bills to avoid disconnection of service. Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s March 13th directive, the Department of Public Service worked with the State’s utility companies to ensure no New Yorkers would have their utilities cutoff for nonpayment during the PAUSE. Similar action was taken during Super Storm Sandy, the 2014 Polar Vortex, and the 2008 financial crisis.