Advocates concerned about utility scams


MARYLAND (WDVM) — Customer advocates and utility companies are warning Maryland residents about utility-related scams.

The state’s moratorium ended on November 15, and companies can now resume service shut-offs.
This new warning comes after Maryland residents reportedly racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt since the moratorium began in March.

The head of the Maryland Office of People’s Counsel, Paula Carmody, says the department is worried that scammers are trying to take advantage of residents in financial distress.

“Let’s face it, I mean with electricity, people working at home need electricity to power the devices, school, telehealth,” said Carmody. “Everything has gotten affected by the pandemic and when people can’t pay their bills they perhaps can lose their electricity or heat.”

While most scam attempts happen by phone, it can also happen through email, text message, or in-person visits.

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