Photo: Beware of the new way people are attempting to scam Belmont residents.
Belmont Light customers should be on guard against a telephone scam that involves callers impersonating Belmont Light staff. As part of the recent scam, several Belmont residents received a phone call with a pre-recorded message urging Belmont Light customers to schedule an appointment for a meter upgrade to help avoid increases in electric rates.
Ed Crisafi, Belmont Light operations manager, asks customers to be extra cautious when setting up meter-related appointments or granting anyone access to their homes. Crisafi confirmed that Belmont Light employees always carry identification when visiting customers in-person, so residents and business owners should not engage with anyone who cannot show credible identification.
The caller specifically mentions “Belmont Light customers,” but does not provide any identifying information, such as his or her name or employer information. The tone of the calls can be construed as pushy, or even threatening. This recent scam alert is separate from those issued by Belmont Light in 2014 and 2015 about scammers calling customers to demand payments and money orders.
Residents or business owners who encounter a suspicious phone call should hang up and report the incident to Belmont Light at 617-993-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers should be aware that Belmont Light has spent the past few years upgrading all of its customers’ electric meters for its nearly complete Smart Grid Project. However, Belmont Light always provides written notice prior to performing meter work and will never utilize pre-recorded phone messages to arrange appointments with customers.
Any calls initiated by Belmont Light to customers will originate directly from Belmont Light’s customer service or meter departments, rather than from a blocked or “1-800” number. Belmont Light staff members also clearly identify themselves during phone calls.
Regarding phone calls, Crisafi added that customers should not hesitate in ending calls if they feel suspicious.
“If you aren’t absolutely convinced that it is Belmont Light calling when you did not initiate the call yourself, please do not be afraid to hang up and dial us directly. We want our customers to be safe, and if it is actually Belmont Light calling because of a billing or meter-related matter, we will not be offended if you need to restart the call to feel comfortable,” he said.
Crisafi also explained that as Belmont Light has already replaced 99.8 percent of the meters in town, customers who have had their meters converted recently should be immediately tipped off that requests for additional meter work are probably fraudulent.