Consumer rights

ESFI Recognizes Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week

Learn how to avoid common utility scams.

Aprenda como evitar estafas de servicios públicos.

National Consumer Protection Week aims to educate consumers about their rights to avoid fraud and scams.

ARLINGTON, VA, USA, March 3, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) recognizes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) National Consumer Protection Week which runs from March 6 to 12th of March. The goal of the week is to help consumers understand their rights to help them avoid fraud and scams. ESFI recently created infographics in English and Spanish to help address this important issue.

“It is very important for our members, the 2,000 electric utilities that serve more than 49 million people across the country, to educate consumers to help protect them from utility scams,” said said Joy Ditto, President and CEO of the American Public Power Association and ESFI Board of Directors. member administration. “Digitalization and advances in technology have allowed scammers to prey on consumers in new ways, and we must work to stop that.”

According to the FTC, fraud complaints were received from more than 2.8 million people in 2021, showing a total loss of $5.8 billion, of which $2.3 billion came from scams by imposters. Many of these cases are electric, water or natural gas utility scams targeting vulnerable populations. Imposters can strike at any time, but they often take advantage of customers who are elderly, non-English speaking, or live in areas affected by natural disaster. In these scams, the crooks pretend they are representatives of utility companies and demand immediate payment to avoid service disconnections.

It is imperative to note that utility companies do not request payment or other personal information over the phone or by email, nor will they contact you, threatening to cut off service. They also don’t ask for gift cards, prepaid cards, or money transfers as payment methods. Scammers also often fake emails and phone numbers. If you have questions about your account, contact your utility company directly using the phone number or email listed on your bill. If you encounter any of these red flags, notify your utility company immediately.

“As Chair of ESFI’s Board of Directors, we are pleased to support this initiative to help stop scams and keep consumers safe,” said Lorraine Carli, Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy. interests of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). “Preventing utility scams aligns with our mission to focus exclusively on promoting electrical safety in the home and workplace.”

Please visit the FTC site for more information on National Consumer Protection Week and to avoid scams. For more information on how utilities across the country have partnered to protect their customers from fraud, visit utilitiesunited.org. If you want access to free electrical safety materials that you can share in your community, visit esfi.org.

ABOUT ESFI
ESFI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety in the home and workplace. For more information and to use free ESFI resources in your community, visit esfi.org.
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Brianne Deerwester
International Electrical Safety Foundation
+1 703-841-3295
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