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RG&E and NYSEG warn of ongoing scams

The RG&E station behind the convention center and next to the Broad Street Bridge.
Max Schulte
The RG&E station behind the convention center and next to the Broad Street Bridge.

Two local utilities are warning customers about some scams that have been going on in their service areas.

The warning comes from Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas, both part of the company Avangrid.

One of the typical kinds of scams, according to those utilities, involves someone posing as a utility representative, aggressively telling a customer their account is past due unless an immediate payment is made, typically using a prepaid debit card or another non-refundable form of payment.

Another scam involves a caller telling the customer to pay with cash or a prepaid debit card to cover the costs of a new meter.

RG&E and NYSEG remind customers that they will never ask customers to make a payment with a pre-paid debit card or other non-refundable methods, or do something like have an employee take a photo of your electric bill.

Company officials say if you are uncertain of the identity of a caller or a visitor to your door, contact the utility’s customer service team immediately.

The utilities noted that there is little they can do once a victim has been scammed. The companies said that customers who suspect they have been victims of fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should notify local law enforcement authorities and the Federal Trade Commission (

The utilities said that will help authorities shut down scams and prosecute the scammer.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.