Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. is warning customers about scams in which people pose as BGE employees in person or over the telephone to steal money, valuables or credit card information.

A recent scam has targeted customers over the telephone, BGE said. Callers say service will be terminated and direct customers to pay by buying a "Green Dot" Visa credit card. Customers are given another phone number where information is obtained from a customer's credit card. But the funds are not used to pay BGE bills, BGE said.

BGE said impostors also might appear at a home or business wearing official looking clothing and showing fake credentials. BGE workers usually only require entry into a home for a gas or electric emergency, to check equipment, read meters or start or stop service. All BGE employees and contractors carry company identification badges showing their name, photograph and identification number.

Customers who receive calls from someone identifying themselves with BGE are urged to ask for the name on the account, the account address and the exact past-due balance before providing any payment or financial information.

Customers can make secure payments by phone at 1-800-685-0123, online at bge.com, by mail and at authorized America's Cash Express and Global express locations. Anyone contacted as part of a scam is asked to call local police and the BGE Customer Contact Center at 800-685-0123.

Lorraine.mirabella@baltsun.com

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