Suspects sought in home burglary; police say man falsely claimed to be utility employee

Suspects sought in home burglary; police say man falsely claimed to be utility employee

Record-Journal
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An elderly couple’s home was burglarized after they were lured outside by a man posing as a worker with Eversource Energy, prompting the Connecticut State Police to issue a warning for residents to be on alert.

State police said the couple, who lives along Route 2 in Preston, fell victim to the scam on Tuesday afternoon when one of the men asked them to step outside to discuss a utility issue. A second man entered the house and stole several items while they were distracted.

According to a press release, the incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Police said the man who spoke with the homeowner was described as being unshaven and wearing a polo shirt and dark pants. He was driving a white vehicle that appeared to be a newer model, possibly a hatchback.

Eversource representatives remind homeowners that the company takes precautions to make sure that customers are able to verify any work or request made by the company.

On the company website, the utility offers information to protect consumers. It notes that in any case in which workers show up at a home, they will have company-issued photo IDs, as well as written documentation of the work or reason for the home visit. For more information, visit www.eversource.com/Content/ct-c/business/safety/protect-you-your-family-from-scams.

Connecticut State Police are also asking residents who may have seen anything suspicious, have information in the case or have experienced similar efforts to contact Troop E in Montville by calling 860-848-6500.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

Protect yourself from scams

Many scam artists are threatening customers in person, over the phone and online with disconnection of their electric or natural gas service if they don’t make an immediate payment. Another tactic is to offer a bill credit or discounted rate if a customer provides their account number or other information.

Protect yourself by being vigilant, staying informed and guarding your personal information.

If something seems suspicious, call us immediately toll-free at 800-286-2000. Also be sure to report this to your local law enforcement.

IMPORTANT FACTS

Eversource representatives NEVER ask for instant payment in person or over the phone.

Eversource representatives DO NOT require the use of pre-paid debit cards (such as Green Dot MoneyPak, Vanilla or Reloadit).

Eversource representatives NEVER request customers meet at a payment center, such as a department or grocery store, to make a payment.

Eversource does NOT solicit door-to-door or on the phone on behalf of third-party energy suppliers.

Eversource representatives ALWAYS carry company-issued photo identification and will always provide it when asked.

Contractors working for Eversource ALWAYS carry documentation explaining the nature and location of their work.

Customers who are scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment receive written notice via the U.S. mail which includes the actions they can take to maintain service.

Eversource almost never makes unsolicited house visits. Exceptions might include accessing, maintaining, or ensuring the reliable and safe operation of our equipment.

If you’re not sure the person is an Eversource employee, call us. We’ll be glad to verify if work is scheduled at or near your home or business and the identity of the employee.

PROTECT YOURSELF

Always verify whether these callers are legitimate by asking for some basic information about your account. Our representatives will always be able to provide the name on the account, the account address, and the exact past due balance.

Never immediately pay, regardless of what the caller knows about your account or offers as an incentive. If they are requesting an immediate payment using a third-party service, at another location or via a prepaid debit card, hang up immediately and contact us directly to verify your account status.

If you are suspicious, hang up and call us ​at 800-286-2000. Also, please report this to your local law enforcement.

Never wire money to someone you don’t know — regardless of the situation. Once you wire money, you cannot get it back.

Do not accept offers from anyone, including those claiming to be Eversource employees, to pay your bill or provide any other service for a fee.

Do not click on links or call numbers that appear in unexpected emails or texts — especially those asking for your account information. If you click on a link, your computer could become infected with malware, including viruses that can steal your information and compromise your computer.

Source: Eversource Energy


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