PLATTSBURGH – The City of Plattsburgh is warning Municipal Lighting Department customers of an apparent telephone scam.
Mayor Pro Tem James Calnon said the city has heard from a number of customers who say they have been contacted by callers claiming to be “working with,” or “supplying power,” to MLD, and that they can save you 7 percent or more on your bill by just answering a few simple questions.”
“That’s the problem. The questions that they ask are personal data that will allow them to steal your identity or your money,” he said in a press release.
“These calls are not coming from Plattsburgh MLD staff. They are what is known as ‘phishing,’ and they are a scam.”
Calnon said residents receiving such a call should not answer the questions posed to them. If you are in doubt about who is calling you, hang up the phone and call the MLD number on your bill to see if the call is legitimately coming from the city, he said.
He said residents should not be fooled if they see the MLD number on caller identification because scammers can send false signals to caller-ID systems, making it appear to be a legitimate call.
MLD personnel will never call people asking for personal data, Calnon said, and any such questions should alert people that a possible scam is being attempted.
“Just today, we had four calls reporting the scam, and we are worried that many more people have been targeted,” Calnon said.
“It is important for everyone to be on guard against these thieves. It is not just electric utilities that are being used in this way. Scammers imitate banks, credit-card companies, stores and even family members.”
Calnon said that anyone who has given out sensitive information needs to take action. He suggested calling your bank or credit-card company if you gave out that information.
“If you gave up personal data that could be used to steal your identity, get your credit report to see if it is being used.”
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