Warn Others About Energy Company Scams With This Flyer

Sick of their neighborhood getting overrun by ESCO Slammers, salesmen who pretend to be from your energy provider and trick people into signing over to their energy resale service, some Brooklyn citizens put together this flyer. The Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights posted it in their ‘hood and put it online for other people to use too. The flyer talks about IDT Energy and Con Ed, but you could edit it to be for your locality if you wanted to, too. Cool to see people banding together to fight the ESCO-slamming scourge.

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  1. czetie says:

    ESCOS slammers. Phone bill crammers. Auto warranty scammers. How do these people who spend their working days knowingly trying to deceive people sleep at night? Are their brains wired differently from those of us who try to make an honest living? I just don’t get it.

    “How was your day, honey?”
    “Great. I lied to 10 people, and 2 of them were taken in!”

    • Randy Treibel says:

      @czetie: Did you see that sean penn movie… The assassination of… Nixon? i forget.. But he was a good guy who couldn’t lie/cheat/steal and it was hard for him to get by in society. I think if its lie vs don’t eat… you lie..

  2. Jessica Marie Cooper says:

    Nice. Glad to see people taking matters into their own hands and not allowing themselves to get screwed out of their money.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I work at a call center taking calls for a gas company. We get calls all the time where a customer wants to know why their bill is so high. When we tell them it’s because they are being outrageously charged by one of these third party suppliers they have one thing to say in most cases. “When did that happen?” I think this flier is a great idea and should be posted everywhere.

  4. kc2idf says:

    The content is good. I am glad to see people taking control back.

    There might be an opportunity to improve the poster, perhaps starting with the headline — perhaps something like “Don’t get scammed!” followed by something about utilities. People aren’t going to know what an ESCOS is.

    Great idea, though, and I’m glad that these citizens are showing their concern. This is good stuff.

  5. Corporate-Shill says:

    Important message.

    Repeat often.

    Too many of our easily confused (the poor, the elderly, busy housewives etc) are being taken advantage of by these pond scum sucking flim-flam artists.

  6. MrFrankenstein says:

    The worse the economy gets, the more the scamming will increase. Think of the Bogdanovich movie classic ‘Paper Moon’ – which was about a Bible scammer in the Depression era.

    The worse things get, the more it’ll bring out human ingenuity to make a buck. Morality? Irrelevent.
    And Americans, en masse, are somewhat naive in comparison to other nations.
    So these stories will continue as desperate times increase.

    The idea that ‘the easily confused’ are the ones to be worried about, covers a sizable portion of this population.

  7. Matthew Broder says:

    As a victim of a recent headhunter scam- I feel foolish and embarrassed because I consider myself somewhat intelligent and I am usually able to preform my own smell test in these types of situations. However the scammer took advantage of me b/c I had just gotten laid off and my guard was down and I was desperate to get back into the work force.

    My feeling is that in this crappy economy with all the job losses people that execute theses scams are double scum bags. They pray on people facing troubled times and a looking for a way out.

    • nakedscience says:

      @Matthew Broder: That sucks. I’m sorry you went through that. You’re not an idiot; just a normal human being. And whoever scammed you is scum.

    • Fresh-Fest-1986 says:

      @Matthew Broder: Did they ask you pay an amount to get registered or be considered for the top jobs?

      I wonder because my brother-in-law is the kind of person who falls for everything and he mentioned something like this to me recently.

      Sorry to hear about the situation. The best you can do now is try to pass along information about this company and their ways to whoever will listen.

      • Matthew Broder says:

        @Fresh-Fest-1986:

        My situation was a little different- but I have seen ads for the type of scam your brother-in-law is talking about on craigslist.org.

        I was asked to pay a set-up fee upfront that would expedite the application process b/c the scammer claimed he would use his connections in the business (hospitality and food service) to get my resume to HR people he knew who were looking for talent.

        Regarding the last paragraph of your message- I have notified the the GM of the hotel where I was scammed and explained my story. He was very sympathetic and promised he would spread the work to his staff, corporate leadership, and the surrounding hotels.

  8. Nakko says:

    They misspelled misled as “mislead”.

  9. Anonymous says:

    We live in a co-op where our electricity is included in our maintainence fees, so we do not have our own account with Con Ed. Nevertheless, we are constantly getting phone calls about lowering our Con Ed bill.

  10. clickable says:

    Excellent. The one drawback I see here is that many of the target audience for the flyer (many of whom are elderly, and English is not their native language) will think that the name of the scamming company is ESCOS and may be lulled into a false sense of security when the actual scammers use a different name.

    I know when I explain this to my mother, I will emphasize mainly: don’t sign anything that someone wants to show you at the door, don’t show any personal information to anyone who comes to the door. If they want information, they can send a request in writing. And of course, don’t open the door.

    She’s already well-trained to hang up on telemarketers without answering their questions, and that was not an easy task. For her generation, politeness means answering when someone asks you a question, and dealing with scammers has forced her to go against some of her most basic instincts.

    I’ve worked hard to get her used to telling anyone who calls, if they are not known to her personally – even if they say they are from her bank, or from Con Ed, or whatever – that questions may be sent in writing, and then she hangs up the phone. If they are legitimate, and they have her phone number – then they have her mailing address and they will understand her desire for caution. If they are scammers, then who cares what they think. Also, nowadays, legitimate companies never ask by phone for information that might compromise a customer’s privacy. It took a while but once I got her into the mindset, she began slamming the phone down like a champ :)

  11. richcreamerybutter says:

    Here’s a fun entry from a local blog on this situation:

    [www.newyorkshitty.com]

  12. snapdoodle says:

    Does CONED not realize they have Ambit and IDT listed on the poweryourway site?

    That’s awfully misleading.

  13. miznyc says:

    I made this video about the NYC IDT Agents who refused to leave my building yesterday, until the camera came out

    (it’s a little easier to view directly on youtube because the letters are small on my comments as it streams on this site)