Con Edison is warning customers not to fall for a scam in which a caller says the customer must make a payment by purchasing a Green Dot Money Pak to avoid having utility service turned off.
These callers are not from Con Edison and Con Edison does not authorize payments of electric or gas by pre-paid debit cards such as the Green Dot Money Pak. While many retail stores accept the Green Dot Money Pak for payment, Con Edison does not.
The company has received reports from hundreds of customers who were contacted by the scammers. The scammer tells the customer the company will turn off service unless the customer makes a bill payment by purchasing a Green Dot pre-paid card.
The scammers sometimes even tell the customer about a store near the customer's home that sells Green Dot cards. The scammer instructs the customer to pay cash to put money on the card and to then provide the number on the card to the person who called.
Once the customer provides the Green Dot card number, the scammer steals the money on the card by transferring the money to a pre-paid card and cashing that card at an automated-teller machine.
There have been reports of these scammers making a Con Edison phone number show up on the customer's caller ID.
Be alert if anyone asks you by telephone to arrange for pre-paid debit cards of any kind as payment for your bill, or to send money to an out-of-state address. Never arrange payment or divulge account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the telephone, unless you are certain you are speaking to a Con Edison representative.
In addition, Con Edison warns customers against imposters coming to their home and claiming to be from the company. Any Con Edison employee arriving at your home or business to read your meter will have a visible photo identification badge.
Feel free to ask or check for identification before allowing anyone into your home or business. If you feel the person at your door may be an imposter, you can call 1-800-75CONED (1-800-752-6633) to check.
Anyone who feels they may have been a target of an imposter or Green Dot scam should call thepolice. They may also call Con Edison.
Please pass this on to family, friends and neighbors.
Someone sent in the following blog comment: "It seems that the popular thing today has become for people to check car doors and steal anything inside, including mail or personal data. I have also noticed an increase in can collectors and they have become more brazen and come onto my property and help themselves to anything that is not nailed done. This morning I heard someone in my yard and looked out the window to see a can collector going though my garbage and making a complete mess. I politely asked for them to get off my property but they didn't listen. I had to go down into my yard and they still wouldn't leave, it almost got physical since I noticed it wasn't just cans they are looking for. I noticed they were also interested in mail that I threw out. This is why it should be illegal for people to go through our garbage since you can find out a lot about a person from their garbage. There are more and more of these can collectors, can't something be done?" Answer
- NYC Sanitation Code 16-118(7)(B) - Unauthorized Removal of Refuse: "No one, other than an authorized employee or agent of the DSNY, shall disturb or remove ashes, garbage, refuse (including recycling) or rubbish placed within the stoop line or in front of houses for removal by householders, tenants or occupants." FINE: $100-$300
- NYC Sanitation Code 16-118(7)(b) - Theft of Residential Recyclable Material: "Except for an authorized employee or agent of DSNY, it shall be unlawful for any person to disturb, remove, or transport by motor vehicle any amount of recyclable material (placed out a curbside) for collection or removal by the Department. Penalties for this offense include a fine and vehicle impoundment. Both the owner and driver of the vehicle are liable for theft of recyclable material. Except for an authorized employee or agency of DSNY, it shall be unlawful for any person to disturb, remove, or transport by motor vehicle any amount of recyclable material placed out at curbside, within the stoop line, or in front of the premise for collection or removal by the Department." FINE: $2,000
- So what does this mean? This means if any suspicious person is on your property going through your trash or on your property for any other reason, don't confront them because you could get hurt - CALL 911!
Please pass this on to family, friends and neighbors. Similar regulations exist for commercial businesses. You can visit Sanitation's website at www.nyc.gov/sanitation
for more information about all Sanitation's regulations for private property as well as commercial businesses. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and we'll try to get you an answer.
- In January, a neighbor on 70th Street received a credit card bill for $4,000+ from Apple. The merchandise was ordered by computer, charged to his credit card and supposedly sent to his house. He never made such an order nor received the merchandise. This family is out at work and it is not known whether someone was sitting outside waiting for UPS to deliver the goods, but someone did sign for it. The name was bogus. My neighbor reached out to the bank but never thought to make a police report until I urged him to do so.
- Today, I was speaking to another neighbor on 70th Street and she said she recently applied for a new credit card which was to be sent by mail. While she was away on a short vacation, she received a Fraud Alert from Citibank stating that someone charged $5,000+ merchandise to her new card at PC Richards. She couldn't understand how this happened since the bank usually asks people to "activate" their new card from their home phone - which she never did because she hadn't received the card. She, like the neighbor above, didn't think to make a police report because the bank said they would cover the charges. The 104th Precinct will have someone contact her.
It's important that crimes like this are brought to the attention of your local precinct! If there is no report - the precinct doesn't know it happened and cannot track these incidents to determine if there is a crime pattern in our area. In this case, two people on 70th Street were victimized and we don't know if there were more! Please take the time to report any criminal activity. These crooks will continue to victimize people until we all band together and do something about it!!! You can either have a report taken at your precinct or if you can't get to the precinct you can call 911 and tell them you were a victim and wish to report it. You can also report past crimes. Please pass this on to friends, family and neighbors.
Public Safety Chair Council Member Peter Vallone,. Jr. wrote the following letter to District Attorney Richard Brown asking for a tough sentence for a graffiti vandal that was recently arrested
for a spree across Queens, including Maspeth.
COMET honored retiring Detective Richard Garland, of the 110th Precinct, for his years of service to the Elmhurst community. Garland, who grew up in Elmhurst, said the honor to serve was all his. “I lived here my entire life and I gave it my all,” he said. “I think I cared about this area more than others because I grew up here.”Read the rest here: Precincts tackle crime at monthly COMET meeting - Times Ledger
Hi Everyone, We're still getting hit with burglaries! I'm listing the locations, but just because they're not in your immediate area doesn't mean the perpetrators won't move over to you. Crooks move from area to area to avoid getting caught!! Please pass this info on to others in the neighborhood including businesses! Stay alert!! Call 911 for suspicious activity!
104th Precinct - Maspeth - open burglaries
- 5/14, 3:30 pm, 66th/Clinton (residential), entered through basement window and removed property.
- 5/25, 8:45 pm, 58th/57th Rd (commercial), roof access.
- 5/27, 12:00 - 7:00 pm, 58th/58th Pl, (commercial vehicle), tools stolen.
- 5/27, 10:00 pm, 58th/59th St, (commercial) rear door.
- 5/29, 8:00-11 pm, 62nd/60th Pl, (residential), front window. TV and laptop stolen.
- 5/30, 12:00, (commercial), rear window.
108th Precinct - Winfield/Woodside - open burglaries(We weren't given specifics - Captain O'Toole couldn't attend)
110th Precinct - Elmhurst - open burglaries
- 52nd/73rd Street - St. Adalbert's - property from schoolyard.
- 54th Seabury - First Presbyterian Church, laptop stolen.
- 52nd/84th Street
- 85th/57th Avenue
Other crimes you need to be aware of:
- Purse snatched, QB/Woodhaven station.
- Robbery, 50th/69th at party. 108th Squad is investigating.
- Stolen cars: 66th/52nd Dr, 2006 motorcycle; 62nd/60th Pl, Ford Ecoline 350; 54th/65th Pl, 2001 Dodge Caravan.
- Items stolen from vehicles: 70th/47th Avenue; 69th/47th Avenue.
- Keep your house secure at all times, particularly first floor. Secure your air conditioner with screws so they can't be easily taken out. When you're out in the yard, lock up!! You might be in the front yard and someone gets in through the rear.
- Keep your shed/garage locked at all times. Don't leave out lawn mowers, etc. even for a few minutes.
- Don't flaunt your electronics when on subway or walking!
- If you carry a purse, keep valuables to a minimum and try not to carry anything in your purse you're not willing to lose.
- Don't leave any valuables in your car!!!
Roe Daraio, PresidentComet