The Seaside Heights Police Department would like to warn its business owners and residents about a financial scam being perpetrated by individuals purporting to be representatives from Jersey Central Power and Light (JCP&L).
Business owners and residents are reminded the Borough of Seaside Heights runs its own electrical utility and does not receive services from JCP&L. All Seaside Heights utility bills are paid to the Borough of Seaside Heights.
The scam is conducted as follows: An individual will contact a business, usually via telephone, and tell the business that their electric account is past due and that if they do not pay the delinquent amount within 30 minutes, their electric will be turned off. The caller has the business’s JCP&L account number and information. The business is advised to pay the amount due in pre-paid debit cards (such as Green Dot or MoneyPak cards). The caller instructs the business to obtain the cards and to call back with the card numbers, so the caller will have immediate access to the funds. In some instances, the business’s caller IDs actually makes it appear that the calls are coming from JCP&L. Often, once the scam was successful the first time, the business was targeted a second time with the same threat—that more money was due and that if not paid, the electric will be shut off.
JCP&L will not call or email to demand immediate payment or threaten an imminent shutoff of electric service. JCP&L will not demand payment via pre-paid debit cards. These JCP&L scams have thus far been reported by businesses. It would not be a stretch for residents to be targeted with similar scams pertaining to their home electric service.
Any business or resident who suspects they have received a scam call should contact the Seaside Heights Police Department at 732-793-1800 (Please do not call 9-1-1). JCP&L also urges any customer who has doubts about a call from someone claiming to be from JCP&L, especially one demanding immediate payment, to call JCP&L’s customer service number at 1-800-662-3115. JCP&L has an informative website to assist consumers with recognizing scams and on-line reporting. Please visit https://www.firstenergycorp.com/content/customer/help/safety/scam-info/known-scams.html