Saturday, July 15, 2017

The "Show Me Your Energy Bill" Folks Are Back

And the door-to-door energy folks are back, ringing every doorbell to gain access to buildings and asking to see your utility bills.

A reader writes:
"About 8:30 tonight, two people rang every bell in our building until someone let them in.

They said they needed to see a ComEd bill or People's Gas bill to confirm that we were signed up for Think Recycling. They would only speak to the head of household, and wouldn't speak to me unless I opened the door.

I know this is a classic scam and old news, but I figured I would message in case there has been a recent uptick in Uptown. I live on Magnolia between Wilson and Montrose."
And this is pretty funny: Our reader said that the solicitors told him, "We can't be scamming you because we have badges."

So, in a nutshell:
  • These people are trying to earn a living, but they're aggressive and don't tell the whole truth about what they want.
  • Why would you ring someone in you don't know? Talk to your neighbors if they're doing this.
  • Opening your door to a stranger at 8:30 at night? Unwise.
  • They must leave if you ask them to. You have the right to decide who has access to your home.
  • Don't ever show anyone a bill with your account number, name, address, and phone number on it. C'mon now.
  • In online forums, people have said that when they show their bill, the person has apparently memorized the information and switched their energy provider without their knowledge.
  • Here's an article from WGN about "energy slamming," switching your energy provider without your consent.
  • Another cautionary tale of fraud from CBS2.

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