DA and Consumer Affairs Commissioner remind residents to be aware of scam targeting O&R customers

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Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler and Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and Weights and Measures Charles Mitchell are warning residents about a scam targeting Orange and Rockland customers.

According to Mitchell, the scheme involves individuals posing as O&R employees calling unsuspecting customers and threatening them with the immediate shut off of their electric service if they don’t pay bogus bills with Green Dot or other prepaid debit cards.

Mitchell wants consumers to know:

• O&R does not accept bill payment for electric and gas utility bills by Green Dot or any other prepaid debit cards.

• Disconnecting O&R electric or gas service for non-payment of bills involves a multi-step process, including written communications from O&R to the customer over a period of several days, or even weeks, not hours.

“It’s troubling to know that these types of scams are targeting Orange County residents,” Hoovler said. “I appreciate that O&R is vigilant about addressing this scam and I want residents to be aware that we are here to help. If you have a question, concern or complaint, I urge you to contact our Consumer Affairs department, the District Attorney’s Office or local law enforcement.”

If you receive a call

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from O&R or Rockland Electric stating that a payment is required within hours and threatening to immediately shut off your service, O&R urges you to:

• Hang up. Disengage so you’re not further subjected to the high-pressure “sales pitch.”

• Don’t hit redial. The caller ID screen on your phone for the phony call may read “Orange and Rockland Utilities,” but that’s a hi-tech bogus copy of the utility company’s number. Do not redial, and don’t call the number that the caller gives you to call them back.

• If you are unsure about whether you have an overdue balance on your O&R bill, the fastest way to find out is to log onto your account through ORU.com. to review your latest account information.

You also can call O&R’s automated phone system at 1-877-434-4100.

Have your Orange and Rockland account number ready and follow the automated phone prompts to check your balance.

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