Radnor Township police warn residents about door-to-door utility company sales scheme

RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WPVI) -- It can start with a knock at the door or even a phone call.

On the other end, it's a person claiming they are with a utility company, like PECO, saying they might be able to save you money.

But first, they want to see your bill.

Sound familiar?

Homeowners like Nancy in Radnor Township say it's happened to her.

"I've gotten 3 or 4 phone calls in the last month just saying this is PECO and we want to save you money on your services," she said.

Police say the problem is it may be part of a larger scheme to get your personal information.

"They can use that information to actually create a fraud or do an identity theft," said Radnor Township Police Department Lt. Shawn Dietrich.

PECO officials says rarely if ever will company representative come to your door, and if they do, they would never ask for your account information as they would already have it.

"An unscheduled visit may be because of a service concern in the area and even then, they'll come with some kind of material and explain why they are there," said PECO spokesperson Afia Ohene-Frempong.

As for third party utility companies asking to see your billing statements, PECO officials say that's not uncommon.

The key in those instances is being cautious and doing some independent research.

"Know that you can talk to that person tomorrow. If they're really serious about that sale just give yourself a beat to really examine your options before showing people your account information," Ohene-Frempong said.

As an extra layer of protection, Radnor Township does require door-to-door vendors to get background checks.

They are then given an ID to show they've been cleared by police.

However, most homeowners say they never let it get that far.

"First and foremost I would try not to answer the door," said Shelia Fanto of Radnor Township.

Some residents say they are being signed up for higher costing utilities after these visits. PECO officials warn that can happen if you sign a contract agreeing to switch companies.

So, they also recommend reading the fine print.

Anyone who thinks they may have had their identities stolen or being the victim of fraud is urged to contact police.
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