City of Concord/Duke Utilities

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Kristopher –

Victim Location 28303

Total money lost $3,292

Type of a scam Utility

This person who identified himself as "Mark" who allegedly worked for City of Concord Utilities and DUKE Energy rang our bell and told my husband that he worked with the utility company and was at the house to disconnect service. We were behind in our bill so my husband believed him. He showed his identification and had our billing and personal information. He also had a work truck. He said that he would not shut off the service if we paid him the money. He then told us to pay the bill (which was $494.00 plus fees totaling $600) and he would go back to the office and make sure all of the information was updated and an email receipt/confirmation would be emailed to the email address on file. My husband gave him the $600 and "Mark" told my husband he was going to make sure everything was okay with the meter reads, etc and would then leave. He then wrote his name and number down and told my husband that he had been working our community for many years and he takes care of his customers in that community. He told my husband to call him if our lights go off but that they shouldn’t. He left and we did not see him anymore. Our lights/water never went off and so we thought everything was okay until January 17, 2017. Our lights and water were shut off. My husband tried calling "Mark" and got no answer. My husband and I then contact ed the Utility company directly to inquire about our services and were told that the lights were disconnected due to non payment and that we were fined for meter tampering and a sleuth of other offenses. We had no idea what they were talking about and went into the office. We were told that the meter’s seal was broken twice and that there were signs of tampering which resulted in three additional fines and some other charges. We then looked at our bill to see if the $600.00 was applied and it had not been. We explained what happened with "Mark" and they told us that they don’t collect money in the field and they don’t have any "Mark" that works there. They told us that in addition to paying the outstanding bill we had to pay all of the fines and that our services would not be restored unless we paid everything in full. We were told to make a police report and the police officer refused to take a report saying that he couldn’t take a report with only a name and phone number and no witnesses (which I believe is wrong). We had to pay a total of $2,772.00 to get our services on and had to purchase and hire a licensed electrician to remove and replace the meter box totaling an additional $520.00. Additionally, we thoroughly reviewed our bill with the utility company and saw that there were major discrepancies that proved that someone who had internal access to our account had manipulated numbers on our billing transactions. We had multiple incorrect balances and credits that no one could explain. I also gave the supervisor "Mark’s" number for her information. This resulted in us having to take out multiple payday loans and no cooperation from the utility company. We also caught the utility company in several lies. After paying the money, the staff (with the exception of the utility guy) gave me such a run around. The supervisor instructed an immediate turn on and the staff made up stories about needed further inspections, replacements, etc. Told lies about going to our house and never did. I have a strong feeling that the scam includes many people who work with this utility company and have been for many years getting over on unsuspecting customers like us. I will continue to insist on a police investigation and will do my own investigation until I prove that there is a scam going on and the people who are involved. Meanwhile, there is still a "Mark" going around our community purporting that he is "helping" his customers but he is actually stealing and setting people up to be further scammed by the utility company that he alleged employs him.

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