Eversource Warning of Scam Callers

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BOSTON – With sophisticated scammers constantly finding unique ways to exploit utility customers, Eversource is always working to help customers protect themselves from being targeted.

In addition to an increase in scam activity related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the energy company is warning its customers of the seasonal spike in utility scams as the holidays approach.

In recognition of Utility Scam Awareness Week, Eversource is joining energy companies across the country in helping customers identify the signs of scammers to keep themselves and their families safe.

"The health and safety of our customers is paramount, and that's why we're always working to raise awareness for the deceptive tactics scammers use to steal people's money and sensitive personal information," said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. "If you suspect that you're being targeted by a scammer, please call your local police to report the incident right away. Eversource will never demand instant payment over the phone or ask for personal information in an unsolicited call, text message or email.
"If someone shows up at your home or calls you and demands immediate payment, don't panic, and don't pay. Please call us directly at 800-592-2000 to verify that it's not us."
The most common utility scam involves customers receiving a phone call warning that their service will be shut off because of unpaid bills. The scammer claims to be a representative from Eversource and tells the customer that in order to avoid an immediate shutoff, they need to settle an overdue bill by providing a credit card number or a prepaid debit card. In many cases, the scammer can manipulate the caller ID to display "Eversource," creating a greater sense of confusion and urgency. Both businesses and homeowners have been targeted by this type of scam, with businesses often contacted at a time of day when losing power would have a devastating impact on their ability to serve customers.
"Scammers use a variety of tricks to prey on utility customers, including creating a sense of urgency to convince consumers that payment must be made immediately," said Massachusetts Better Business Bureau Spokesperson Paula Fleming. "That's always a red flag. If you feel pressured for immediate action by a caller, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure that you are speaking to a real representative. Never give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller."
Eversource urges anyone who believes they are a target of improper solicitation to immediately contact local law enforcement. For more information on how to protect personal information and avoid becoming a victim of utility scams, visit Eversource.com, the Utilities United Against Scams and the Better Business Bureau websites. 


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State Declares 'Green Friday' in Support of Local Xmas Tree Farms

UXBRIDGE, Mass. — The Baker-Polito administration has declared Friday, Nov. 27, as "Green Friday" to encourage people across the commonwealth to visit their local farms and nurseries for Christmas trees, holiday plants, and holiday decorating needs.
To celebrate, state Department of Agricultural Resources Commissioner John Lebeaux participated in a Christmas tree-cutting ceremony at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge. In an effort to support the commonwealth's Christmas tree industry, the declaration of Green Friday encourages people throughout the state to visit their local Christmas tree farms to purchase their trees, holiday plants, ornamental swags, and wreaths to fulfill their holiday decorating needs.
"Our administration believes in the importance of supporting our farms by shopping locally and purchasing holiday decorations from one of the commonwealth's many family-operated Christmas tree farms," said Gov. Charlie Baker. "Now more than ever, it is a great time to spend quality time with your family while partaking in this outdoor activity which allows for proper social distancing."
Christmas tree season in Massachusetts provides hundreds of seasonal jobs at approximately 264 Christmas tree farms on approximately 2,801 acres of land from Cape Cod to the Berkshires. The sale of more than 82,524 state-grown Christmas trees contributes approximately $3.5 million to the commonwealth's economy each year. Christmas tree farms, which are often sited on soils that cannot support other crops, stabilize soil, which helps prevent erosion and protect water supplies. When chipped, the trees can be used as a renewable source of energy to be burned as fuel, used as mulch, or composted.
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