The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is recognizing the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW) this week. The purpose of the week is to help consumers understand their rights to help them avoid fraud or scams.
ESFI recently developed infographics and messages to help address the issue and support NCPW.
According to the FTC, fraud reports were received from more than 2.8 million people in 2021. Of the losses reported by consumers, more than $2.3 billion of losses last year were due to imposter scams, up from $1.2 billion in 2020.
Many of these cases are electric, water, or natural gas utility scams targeting communities all over the country. In these instances, scammers impersonate personnel from utility companies and demand immediate payment to avoid service disconnects. Affected customers are encouraged to reach out to their utilities directly and alert company representatives about a potential scam.
The FTC is offering a variety of public events for NCPW, including webinars on how to protect yourself from scams and where to report them, college students and cryptocurrency scams, financial caregiving, and how to recover from fraud. Visit the FTC’s website for more information.
In November 2021, ESFI appointed American Public Power Association (APPA) President and CEO Joy Ditto to serve as a member of its Board of Directors. Click here to learn more about the announcement.
“Educating consumers to help protect them from utility scams is very important to our members, the 2,000 public power utilities that serve more than 49 million people across the nation,” Ditto said. “Digitization and technological advancements have allowed scammers to prey upon consumers in new ways, and we must work to put a stop to them.”