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New scam changes residents’ electric supplier, costing them money

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:59 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - You may want to give your utility bill a second look. Some residents are getting charged more after a complete stranger changed their energy supplier without their knowledge.

Your bill will still say Toledo Edison, they run the infrastructure. What to watch for is the supplier. Those prices will vary and, in the case of one Toledo man, might have cost this family quite a bit of money. It’s a good thing Toledoan Pete Ueberroth checks his electric bill closely.

“I clicked on it and $190 bucks. My bill is usually $70. $68-$72. That doesn’t look right,” said Ueberroth.

A closer look revealed an energy supplier called Inspire out of New Jersey. “Never heard of them. I’ve never heard of them. I thought it was some kind of fundraiser,” said Ueberroth.

Inspire was providing his energy, Toledo Edison still handled the transmission of it but he’d never sign up with Inspire or agreed to its rate. He called them to verify the account and found bogus information listed. Which started with him allegedly signing up when someone came to his door.

“Nobody came to my door on the 17th of July. I haven’t heard anyone at my door asking for anything in months,” said Ueberroth.

The representative also gave an email account and phone number on his record that didn’t match his real email address or phone number. Utility officials call it “slamming.” Someone switches your energy provider without your knowledge.

When a switch happens, Toledo Edison does send you a letter to confirm it. So watch whenever the company sends you a letter talking about a supplier and a switch because it might be something you didn’t authorize and you might be paying a new and potentially higher rate.

“Anybody should check their bill anytime. It’s there and if you get a paper bill it’s going to be real obvious,” said Ueberroth.

If this happens to you, you can call the company you were moved to and they have to switch you back without switching penalties and you’ll be credited for any switching fees you incurred.

Ueberroth told 13abc that his now old supplier, Inspire, has already offered him a credit.

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