We’ve warned our customers about a number of fraudulent scams being perpetrated by dishonest people in recent months. Usually they involve callers who represent themselves as being Central Hudson calling to collect a sum of money that is owed for various reasons, and seeking payment in a variety of unorthodox ways. Here’s the newest such scam which we heard about for the first time this week from a customer who operates a small retail business:
A caller claiming to be Central Hudson stated that the Public Service Commission ordered that, as of Jan 1, 2014, all businesses in NY must have a smart meter installed. This is not true and smart meters are not even approved for general use in New York at this time. The caller also claimed the customer should have received two notices about this in the mail, and that someone would be at the business that day to do the installation. Payment for the new meter was thus due immediately, and a direct deposit from the customer’s account was the only acceptable form of payment.
When our customer asked the caller where they were calling from, he was told, “Central Hudson’s office in Poughkeepsie NY.” But when our customer pointed out that the Caller ID indicated a California area code (916) they quickly hung up the phone.
While this scam collection attempt was perpetrated upon a non-residential customer, it is entirely likely that they will attempt to defraud individual homeowners and residential customers as well, so please be alert and be careful. If you are skeptical about a similar call that you receive, ask for the caller’s name and a phone number at work where you could call him or her back. If it is from out of the area it is certainly a scam. Be aware that you can call our general office number (845) 452-2000 to reach any of our actual employees by name.
If you are confident that you have received a scam call of this nature, please report it to local law enforcement. While we are doing our best to alert customers to these fraudulent activities involving the use of the Central Hudson name, only law enforcement agencies have the authority to apprehend alleged criminals.