Central Hudson is alerting customers of a bill payment scam potentially targeting both residents and businesses.
“A small number of Central Hudson customers were recently contacted over the telephone by a person claiming to be with Central Hudson, indicating that their account is past due and directing them to pay their utility bill through a pay-back money card,” said Charles A. Freni, senior vice president of customer services.
He said that perpetrators are instructing the customers to use cash to purchase the cards from Walmart or local CVS or Rite Aid drug stores, and then to call a specified phone number to provide information regarding the card. The perpetrators indicate that if payment is not made in this manner, utility services will be shut off.
“Central Hudson would never request a bill payment in this way and has notified law enforcement officials of this scam,” said Freni. “We urge customers to report these attempts to local authorities if victimized or contacted,” he said.
Phone numbers and addresses associated with customer accounts are never shared by Central Hudson without permission. Customers receiving personal visits, calls or emails are warned not to provide or verify their utility account or other personal information. If uncertain about a caller, customers may wish to note the caller ID information and report the incident to their local police department.