It was a close call for the staff at Saint Paul Church as they almost shelled out hundreds of dollars to a scam artist. Luckily, they caught onto the scam before paying any money.
The staff at Saint Paul Church says they wanted to share their story because they don’t want anyone to fall victim to the same type of scam.
The staff over at Saint Paul Church spent most of today in a panic because they thought their electricity was going to get shut off.
“The frustration began today with a phone call saying our power was going to be turned off at 12:15 today, because we didn’t make a payment,” said Deacon Anthony Alleruzzo, Saint Paul Church.
Deacon Anthony Alleruzzo says a man pretending to be from Penelec told the church’s secretary there had been a problem with the company’s system and that the church owed money.
“It was very professional. The numbers that we called, it seemed like we were reaching First Energy,” said Deacon Anthnoy Alleruzzo.
Just as the church’s secretary was getting ready to make a payment, Deacon Anthony Alleruzzo told her not too.
He decided to call the Penelec number on their bill. That’s when he found out the first call about their bill was a scam.
A spokesman from Penelec says the church staff did the right thing. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s a scam because con-artists are becoming more sophisticated.
“They can spoof our number so it looks like Penelec is calling on your caller ID. They have elevator music for you to listen and they actually put you on hold,” said Todd Meyers, Spokesman, Penelec.
Meyers says if a person is asking for an immediate payment then it is a red flag. He added before making any payments, make sure to call the number that’s on your Penelec bill and speak directly to a representative.
Meyers says another red flag to look out for is when people call and ask for sensitive information like your social security number. He says Penelec representatives don’t ask for that information.