safety and security

Jan 21, 2021 | Safety and Security | 23 comments

Scammers beware: We’re on to you

Tips to stop scams

On one front, this year is picking up right where 2020 left off: Scammers are still on the prowl.

We – as well as other utilities across the country – are seeing an increase in fraud and deceptive marketing tactics so far in 2021.

Here’s the good news: We’re all getting smarter when it comes to spotting a scam, and we want you to know the warning signs so you can keep your peace of mind – and your pocketbook – intact.

Have you ever received a call allegedly from PPL promising you a better rate for your electricity supply? Scammers are savvy. They can make their calls display PPL’s phone number on your caller I.D. But surely, it wasn’t us.

Maybe you received a threatening text message with a link to pay your electric bill to avoid a shut-off. The text may have offered a digital payment option. Again, that wasn’t us!

Or, worst-case scenario, someone who claimed they were from PPL showed up on your doorstep, in the middle of a pandemic, and offered you a fantastic deal on your electricity supply. Like your parents always said, if someone offers you a deal that’s too good to be true, it almost always is. And that individual certainly was NOT from PPL.

How do we know these weren’t PPL employees making these claims? Because we don’t do business that way. We never market on behalf of electricity suppliers, and we never make threats. If you’re behind on your bill, we’ll discuss options with you and develop a payment agreement to keep your lights on. We’ll never demand immediate cash to avoid shutoff.

If you’re concerned that you might be the target of a scam, be sure to log in to your secure online PPL account to verify what the caller is telling you. You can easily check your rate, verify any amounts due and make payments through our secure systems. If you need help setting up your account, call us at 1-800-342-5775.

Want more tips on how to spot fraud and deceptive marketing? Check out pplelectric.com/scams.

23 Comments

  1. Richard Riley

    What has PP&L done to stop scammers. How can we help? Have you gone after the scammers in court? Have you gone to the telecom companies to enlist their help? How about the government for new laws? How about the “ghosting” of caller id’s. They are misrepresenting your industry

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      Good Afternoon Richard, As you know PPL does not solicit and we cannot control scam phone calls or suppliers that market customers. We encourage customers to reach out to the PUC (Public Utility Commission) at 1-800-692-7380 and the Office of Attorney General at 717-787-3391 to report deceptive or scam activity. Thank you for reaching out to us!

      Reply
      • Mary Martinez

        Necesito que me ayude con hacer un plan de pago

        Reply
        • Kathryn

          Buenos días Mary, configure un plan de pago en línea en https://www.pplelectric.com/billhelp o llámenos al 1-800-342-5775. Gracias por consultar con nosotros.

          Reply
  2. Anonymous

    It would seem logical to me that if someone is representing themselves as being from a certain company, including yours, that the person misrepresenting themselves could be jailed. In the case of phone calls, the same could be done. Go after these people.

    Reply
    • Matt

      difficult when they’re in another country, and the local law enforcement does nothing about it until the spotlight is really on them.

      Reply
  3. Tammy

    We just had this happen and the person knew our account number with you… how does that happen?

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      Good Afternoon Tammy, At PPL Electric Utilities, our job is to safely and reliably deliver power to your home or business, but we don’t own the power plants where that electricity is generated. In Pennsylvania, you can shop choose the electric generation supplier that offers the price and service that is right for you. We maintain an “eligible customer list,” which we provide to licensed electricity suppliers so they can contact you with offers and information about their products and services. If you would like your account information removed from this list, please sign into your web profile to complete the form under http://www.pplelectric.com/ecl. You can also call us weekdays between 8am-5pm @ 1-800-342-5775 and a Representative would be happy to complete this for you. Thanks for reaching out to us!

      Reply
  4. Brian

    This happened to me but not through a phone call or even and email. Completely out of the blue I got a letter from PPL saying I chose another supplier when I did not. I called that other supplier and they said they would email me “proof” that I selected them. They never did. I partly blame PPL for their way of FIRST switching my supplier then letting me know later that it was switched. They should first contact the customer to verify! Please update your process!

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      Good Morning Brian, With the State offering Electric Choice in Pennsylvania for over a decade now, customers can choose to shop as well as choose not to shop. Once the customer signs up with a generation supplier, that supplier electronically notifies PPL with your account number & information. We immediately mail a letter to the customer providing the name, phone number and start date of the supplier for the account. The letter also references to call us if this information is not correct or the customer did not sign up for the supplier. This process has been in place since choice has been offered. We appreciate you reaching out to us!

      Reply
      • Brian

        Thanks for the reply but you didn’t seem to understand my request. I know your process has been in place for a while but it is flawed. You should not switch until you have confirmation FROM THE CUSTOMER that they requested a switch. That would stop scammers right away. Instead, you switch based on what a potential scammer has sent you and then send a letter to the customer! This forces the customer to do all he work to undo what the scammer has done which takes several days and the scammer collects money all that time.

        Reply
  5. Matt

    I kept getting voicemails from someone claiming I overpaid my ppl bill and they want to refund me. I answer the phone one day and their story oddly changes. something something…. $50 gift card, they want my address and information….. I told them to get a real job. they had a convincing american accent, but I could still hear their indian accent. not everyone from india is a scammer, there are some good people there too. not all the scammers even know they’re working for a scam company. difficult to find work, sucks, but nothing makes it ok to steal money or information from people.

    Reply
  6. Bruce Stockberger

    I filed a class action su300it a few years ago as the posted rates for switching are the scam! Sure you save a few pennies on your bill but you are charger upwards of $300 for a service/ billing fee. They are cheaters. I won my case but learned a lesson!

    Reply
  7. KENNETH A HEATON

    Many of these scammers are based in India where there are few options to prosecute them. The law is weak and rarely arrests them.

    Reply
  8. Dr. Carl Forster

    I have been in receipt of at least 4 opportunity requests to choose suppliers, clearly indicating their independence from PP&L, but each of which has presented a scenario that unabashedly admits my cost will likely increase, which immediately raises the question of the logic that produced the request. When I will be the recipient of a lower cost to save the green environment, call me, my obligation to the future of the population, including my immediate family, notwithstanding, will define my participation.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    I received a letter with IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT ELECTRIC CHOICE
    OPTION TO PREVENT DISCLOSURE OF ACCOUNT INFORMATION
    Saying that if you dont sign this form, you name and account number will be forwarded to eligible suppliers, with 15 days to get your name removed from the listof eligible licensed suppliers.
    And that to change your preference at an time, visit pplelectric.com/ecl or call 1-866-849-0916 (which is a recorded call). On the surface, this seems to be unethical if not a scam.

    Reply
  10. Jeff

    The one I *REALLY* get mad at is the one that says “Hello, this is an apology call from your electric utility. It has come to our knowledge that you have been paying more for your electric utility for previous few months”

    Then they offer $50 and 30% rate reduction and claim they are from PPL Resolution Dept.

    is there a “resolution department”?

    I do like to screw around with them though and waste their time if I’m not too busy. Either that or I blow a really LOUD whistle
    into the phone when they come on the line. Screw ’em if they go deaf.

    Reply
  11. James Randolph Paterson

    Never give any stranger anything over phone or otherwise. Never let stranger whether from India/Pakistan/Georgia/Ukraine cajole or defraud you. Many are posing as companies or federal government under false pretenses. One claimed to be PCH trying to cover his voice up with horn or stunt.

    Reply
  12. Fran Bahn

    I just got a call from a number in Berkley, CA (510) 570-1817 from a Miss Murdock, claiming that I needed to call right away with my PPL bill in hand. The number they wanted me to call is 717-740-8347. It came up as a SCAMMER number when I Googled it.

    Reply
    • JL

      I just got this same voicemail with the exact same phone number. I didn’t call back because it seemed like a scam.

      Reply
  13. Betty

    Call from Berkeley CA 510-570-1817
    “Hello this is Miss Murdock calling regarding an urgent notice on your PPL utility account please call me back immediately with a recent statement received by now at 717-740-8347”
    Scam.

    Reply
  14. Kendra Harvey

    As Fran above noted; I received a call from Ms. Murdock from (301)-517-7678 asking for call back at 717-740-8347 to which I called because I new it was a scam. The lady that answered stated her name was Tina Marie and the company she was calling from was PA Consumer Electric Consultant for PPL. She proceeded to speak so fast, advising me to get my bill so she could switch my rate on behalf of PPL. I told her I knew how to go on PAswitch if I want to do this and she interrupted stating that she calling for PPL so she could do it. I told her I knew she was a scam and asked her not to call any more but she continued to talk and clog my line for 3 minutes. I’ve reported it to the FTC and ATTY Gen 🙂

    Reply
    • Kathryn

      Good Morning Kendra, We appreciate you sharing your experience and reporting this SCAM to the ATTY Gen and FTC. Thank you for posting this information to our Blog site to assist others identifying these types of phone calls.

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Categories

Archives