Central Hudson wants to help you avoid scams to help protect your account.
1) Scam: Utility bill payment scam
Customers of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. should be aware of a scam that falsely offers payment of their utility bills by a third party such as the Federal Reserve, a U.S. President or other federal agency. Customers are instructed to use unauthorized bank information provided by scammers to pay their utility bills. Scammers often seek social security numbers, bank routing numbers or other personal information in exchange for the alleged payment.
These scams are spread by word of mouth, the Internet, advertisements and other means. Central Hudson urges customers to be cautious when providing their personal information to third parties, and never to use banking information other than their own.
Customers should also be aware that unauthorized use of banking information is illegal, and payments made in this way toward their accounts cannot be accepted. If in doubt, customers are advised to speak to a Customer Service Representative by calling (845) 452-2700 or (800) 527-2714 to confirm acceptable payment methods.
2) Scam: Caller claims customer is eligible for rebate
Central Hudson is alerting customers of a new scam targeting its customers, whereby a caller claiming to be from Central Hudson says that a rebate check may be due and requests personal information in order to process the rebate. If contacted, do not provide personal information to these callers, and contact your local law enforcement agency. If in doubt, hang up and call Central Hudson at (845) 452-2700.
3) Phone scam uses Central Hudson's recorded message
A very deceptive, new billing scam is being perpetrated now in the Hudson Valley that uses a recording of Central Hudson’s actual automated phone system message to deceive customers into believing they have called Central Hudson. The perpetrators of this scam:
- Call customers and falsely indicate a balance is due and that utility services will be disconnected unless payment is made immediately.
- Provide the customer a false phone number to call to prevent termination of service.
- When the customer calls this number, they first hear the copied recording of Central Hudson’s actual phone system greeting, before being connected to a scammer, posing as one of our customer service representatives, who then demands payment.
The perpetrators of this and similar scams often instruct customers to pay using a store-bought debit card or money order. Central Hudson would never demand unusual, specific payment methods like this.
Demand for these types of payment is a tell-tale sign of fraud. Be very careful not to provide these impersonators with any personal information. If you receive a message like this, call Central Hudson’s real customer service numbers at 845-452-2700 or 1-800-527-2714 to determine whether the call came from us. Please share this warning to protect family and friends.
4) False emails may contain malicious attachments
Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is alerting customers of an email notification appearing to come from the utility and containing a potentially harmful attachment.
An email appears to be sent by Accounts@cenhud.com, which is not a valid Central Hudson email address. The email refers to electronic billing, and directs readers to an attached ZIP file, which may contain malicious code. Other fictitious email names appearing to have been sent by Central Hudson have also been reported.
Customers receiving these emails are advised not to open the attachment. Central Hudson’s email notifications for electronic billing do not contain attachments.
Customers who may be uncertain about an email may call Central Hudson at (845) 452-2700 or (800) 527-2714 and speak with a Customer Service Representative.
Both homeowners and business owners should also be aware of thieves posing as utility employees attempting to collect payments for utility bills in person. The impersonators may request immediate payment in cash, check or by credit card. Central Hudson employees and authorized contractors drive marked vehicles and carry photo identification, and will always display it upon request.
Finally, phone numbers, street and email addresses associated with customer accounts are never shared by Central Hudson without permission. Customers receiving personal visits, calls or emails are warned not to provide or verify their utility account or other personal information such as credit card, social security or bank routing numbers. If there is any doubt, customers may wish to note the caller ID information, license plate or email address and report the incident to their local police department.