By Sabina Mollot
Following an incident in which a man robbed an elderly woman at knifepoint in Coney Island by pretending to be an employee of Con Edison, the utility has issued a warning to New Yorkers to be wary of anyone claiming to be from the company and needing access to their apartments.
The Brooklyn robbery also followed other similar crimes, Allan Drury, a spokesperson for Con Ed said, noting that scammers have used the company’s name those times too.
Last Monday, a pair of thugs claiming to be from Con Ed got into a woman’s home before sexually assaulting her while her daughter was in the house, Pix11 reported. The 26-year-old victim was tied to a table and sexually assaulted.
In the Brooklyn incident, the man pushed his way into an 81-year-old woman’s apartment after claiming to be from the utility, before threatening to kill her, taping her mouth shut, eating her food and then stealing her watch, according to an ABC7 report.
“We’re working with the NYPD in light of several recent incidents of people claiming to be from Con Edison and getting into people’s homes,” said Drury. Businesses have been targeted too.
He strongly recommended that if anyone has a person at their door stating to be from Con Ed, ask to see his or her ID.
“If you’re still not sure, call 800-75-CONED,” Drury added. He also recommended calling the police.
The impersonations comes on the heels of a warning issued by the company just last week about scammers claiming to be from Con Ed over the phone, and threatening power shutoffs to people who don’t pay overdue bills they supposedly owe.
As T&V previously reported, there have even been reports of the scammers going as far as altering their caller ID to make it appear as if they’re really from the company. However, unlike the real Con Ed, the scammers demand payment via pre-paid debit cards or transfers via Money Gram.