Spot And Escape MD Electricity Scam
This is about the time that MD electricity rates start to fall. That means many MD energy companies are trying to get your business. Unfortunately, some company representatives are scammers and are up to no good. Let’s talk about how you can spot, escape, and report a scam in MD.
MD Electricity Energy Scam Problems
Last month, the MD Public Service Commission (PSC) announced a PSC crackdown on deceptive marketers. They were especially targeting companies using dirty tricks to dupe customers with their scams. As it turns out, the MD scam issues have gotten worse.
In fact, PSC Chairman Jason Stanek noted that one “leading” retail supplier has had 23 complaints this year alone. And that was as of the first weeks of March! Further, Stanek mentions that his gas supplier failed to send a renewal notice, which led to his fixed rates spiking up by 325%.
The investigation has led to the MD PSC to issuing nearly 8-9 cease and desist letters to offending retail energy suppliers. And it is very likely that more are to come.
Recognize an Electricity Scam
The best way to avoid a scam is know the tricks scammers try to use. Below are some of the most common ones.
- Unsolicited Calls or Visits Many scammers will drop by or call unannounced. This can often frazzle customers which puts them on the back foot during any conversations to come. Be extra careful about unannounced energy audits, as some scammers will try and charge a high “consultation fee”. Most utilities offer free energy audits if you call and ask.
- Urgent “Pay Now” Messages Scammers will tell you that the call, visit, or letter is urgent and your last chance. These big threats are intended to make you act without confirming whether or not you’re talking to someone legitimate. Don’t let scammers rush you. Only your utility can shut off your power and they must follow a very specific notification process.
- Credentials Claims Many scammers will claim to work for the local utility to make you more likely to follow their instructions. You can always hang up and call your utility directly to confirm.
- Non-standard Payments Scammers will ask you to pay with non-traditional methods or transactions. These can include gift cards or cryptocurrencies. MD utilities don’t do this and only accept standard payments.
How To Report A Scam
If you’ve been targeted by a scam, then the first thing to do is contact your utility company. If possible, give them any identifying info you have about the scammer (phone numbers, emails, etc.). Second, be sure to report it to the FTC.
Finally, contact the MD attorney general’s office. If you already paid a scammer or gave them any personal information (addresses, phone numbers, credit card info, etc.), then contact your bank immediately and let them know. The FTC also has a page on other actions you should take.
Stay Safe From a MD Electricity Scam
MD has seen a high number of complaints about scammers and deceptive marketers. The PSC is working to push back and demands that energy companies do better. In the meantime, use this information to avoid and escape these scams.
One place you can definitely rely on is https://www.mdenergyratings.com. Not only can you shop for great plans, but you can read real customer reviews. You can also compare plans, rates, and find ways to save money on your electric bills.