Utility companies warn against phone scam

Baltimore, MD - Officials say they've been fighting the 'utility scam' for the past year. Most recently, the scammers are targeting the elderly and small business owners.

"I think it's terrible. But I imagine they do those kind of scams and people have to be aware," said Jai Bourgerie, who was targeted last week.

Bourgerie works at The Market near Fells Point. She says although they just opened their doors several months ago, they've already been the target of the scam.

"We did get a call saying they were from BGE, and they were telling us about the different rates that were going to happen; that we were at a certain rate and they were going to change it so it would be lowered. I didn't accept what they were saying. I said, 'I'm not the one to talk to,'" she said.

It turns out, it wasn't Baltimore Gas & Electric calling at all.

It was part of a nationwide scam. Most often, here in central Maryland, scammers claim to be calling from BGE or Pepco, asking for information or money.

"Just like any type of scam that involves your personal safety, and your financial safety, we want to make sure customers are really putting this at the forefront of their thoughts and making sure that they are protecting themselves and their finances from these types of scams," BGE spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said.

Lighty said they have gotten reports that the scam is hitting all across the city, and BGE has worked closely with law enforcement since the scam took off last year.

If you get a call from someone claiming to be from the utility company, hang up and call BGE directly.

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