Eversource apprentice

Jim Dixon of Rochester (foreground) and Dan Shennett of Epping climb practice utility poles at the at the Eversource training center in Hooksett in September. The company and the Better Business Bureau say consumers should be on the alert for utility scams.

As cold weather arrives, so do scammers trying to take advantage of New Englanders.

Consumers can expect to see a rise in utility scams in the coming weeks, Eversource and the Better Business Bureau say. Beware of anyone threatening to cut off your service and demanding payment over the phone.

“These scammers – often sounding legitimate and quite convincing – may threaten to shut off electric service immediately unless instant payment is made, sometimes with a prepaid debit card, which should be a red flag,” said Eversource Executive Vice President, Customer Experience and Energy Strategy Penni Conner, in a press release.

Eversource would never threaten to disconnect service or demand instant payment over the phone, she said.

Another tactic scammers use is saying the person overpaid their account and can get a refund if they give their bank account or credit card information, which Eversource does not do.

“We want to make sure consumers know how to spot the red flags of utility scams so that they can protect themselves if they’re targeted,” said Robert Shomphe, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau New Hampshire. “Customers should never give out their personal information or utility account information, unless they have initiated the call and know the identity of the company they are speaking with. If you receive a suspicious call, hang up and call your utility back directly.”

Eversource urges anyone who has doubts about the legitimacy of a call, visit or an offer, to contact the company directly at 1-800-662-7764. For more information on how to protect personal information and avoid being a victim of utility scams visit Eversource.com.