Published in the February 6, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD – The Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department reminds its customers to be wary of unsolicited calls claiming to be from WMGLD, especially if the caller requests that any past due payment be made in the form of an electronic money order.
The WMGLD has been notified by customers who have received such calls that appear to be part of a sophisticated scam targeting utility customers around the country.
According to WMGLD General Manager Pete Dion, the most recent scam involves a caller who informs the customer that their WMGLD bill is past due and that electric and gas service will be immediately terminated if they do not make a payment using an electronic money order. The caller provides a call back number which is a toll-free number.
“This is not a call from the WMGLD,” General Manager Dion said. “The WMGLD does not have a toll free number, nor do we ask for personal or account information when initiating calls to our customers.”
“If a customer has a payment which is past due, there are several steps that we take before service is terminated, including working with them to make payments,” he added.
To ensure the safety of its customers, the WMGLD reminds its customers of the following facts to protect against falling victim to this scam.
1. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light does NOT terminate for non-payment without a minimum of two past due notices. Customers receiving notices should contact the WMGLD at 781-246-6363 or go to the 480 North Avenue, Wakefield office to set up a payment plan. Customers should work directly with Customer Service Representatives.
2. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light NEVER shuts off service for non-payment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or on holidays.
3. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light does not have a 1-800 or other toll-free number. Any entity asking you to call back on a 1-800 number is not WMGLD-related and is a scam.
4. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light only shuts off service for non-payment during its regular business hours: Monday – Wednesday 7:30 AM– 4:30 PM, Thursday 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM.
5. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light only shuts off service for non-payment in person. The department also provides these customers with specific written information at the time of termination which explains their rights and the services which are available to them.
6. Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light does NOT accept electronic money orders, nor does it accept Green Dot payments. Past scams have involved this form of payment, and customers are again reminded that if they receive a call which mentions Green Dot, it is not legitimate.
“If a customer has any doubt as to the authenticity of a call or request for payment, we encourage them to call us, or come to our business office during regular hours to inquire and resolve the issue,” Dion continued. “We work with our customers to avoid termination of service for non-payment and strongly encourage customers to be proactive and address any financial difficulties situations in a confidential manner with our Customer Service personnel.”
For additional information, or to alert the WMGLD to a possible scam, please call 781-246-6363.