Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Energy Company Scammers Working South Brooklyn?

October 17th, 2008 · 15 Comments

Here’s a fairly scuzzy interesting story that came to us via Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights about a scam-like situation going on to get people to unwittingly transfer the electrical supplier from Con Edison to a company called IDT Energy. What’s at issue is what appears to be very slimy, if not unethical and possibly illegal ways of getting people to switch providers by sub-contracted sales people. It’s a long story but worth reading if only to avoid becoming a victim:

I wanted to alert our fellow community groups and neighbors of a scam perpetrated…by folks posing to work for/represent IDT Energy. Several weeks ago we had an early evening door-to-door visit form 3rd party reps from IDT Energy wanting to explain and “help us” save money on our Con Edison and National Grid bills by allowing IDT Energy to be the supplier. They explained that they were already technically the supplier and that by “going direct” we’d shave $20+ dollars off each of our bills each month. The slick presentation by the trio sounded good…too good to be true.

During the discussion, the main presenter asked to see a copy of our Con Ed bill to specifically point out (and circle, which he did) the charges that would disappear if IDT Energy was selected by us as the alternative provider. What we saw, but did not dawn on us until later, was that one of the “helpers” was copying down all of our Con Ed information. After seeing him do this, we inquired why they need our info? Since we “did not need to sign up today if we wished not to,” they had our info to mail us more information on IDT Energy. We concluded the conversation that we’d go to to IDT Energy’s website for more info, await something in the mail and make our own educated decision at a later date. We noticed the trio canvasing 23rd Street and I assume other blocks in the area…and I’m sure beyond.

We did finally receive more info in the mail from IDT Energy. Information that WE HAD ENROLLED WITH IDT ENERGY and our service would be transferred in November. Needless to say a very unhappy me just got off the phone with IDT Energy finding out that I had “signed up” to transfer my Con Ed supplier to IDT Energy. Not only did I not sign anything, the scumbag rep forged my signature. The rep I spoke to was not surprised in the least (troubling) and removed us from their service and filed a complaint against the rep (who’s # I got).

While we feel very angry (and slightly gullible), we wanted to find out if others in the area have had the same problem, alert you if these gentlemen visited you and warn folks to not even give these guys the time of day if they hit your area. We remember the sub-contractor working for Midtown Promotions located in the Bronx…IDT is subcontracting this out, thus they are the end culprit!

Seems we’re not the only community. As a CB7 member, I wish to find out if this scam has permeated CB7’s area and bring it to the attention to our Board and the DA and Attorney General if need be. Please let us and the groups know if this has happened to you. If they show up at your door, tell them to take a hike.

Please email aaron (at) ccgreenwoodhts (dot) com if you’ve been approached or had a similar problem.

Tags: Greenwood Heights · Uncategorized

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gari N. Corp // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:04 am

    The consumerist.com had a bunch of complaints about these guys a while back – some of them from Brooklyn.

  • 2 jf // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:18 am

    I don’t recall the details because it wasn’t important to me at the time, but a few months ago so guys flashing ID and carrying clipboards rang my bell on Ocean Avenue at Avenue S. One said he needed to see a utility bill–don’t remember if he wanted electricity or gas or both.

    When I told him I would not do that, he responded with “Don’t you want me to do my job?” I said that I didn’t really care about his job and just closed the door.

  • 3 Mamacita // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:26 am

    This is also happening in Prospect Heights, check it out:


  • 4 Bob DeAmbra // Oct 17, 2008 at 10:36 am

    I kicked these guys out of our building on Sterling Place (between 6th & 7th) Tuesday night. They got in and started ringing individual doors at about 9p. I asked them to leave, they belligerently complied, but not before stopping to jott down all the names from our intercom.

  • 5 ccgh // Oct 17, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Keep the posts coming. I am keeping a tally, and as I mentioned in the e-mail GL posted, we will be taking this to the electeds. More the info, the better. E-mail me at aaron (at) ccgreenwoodhts.com

    Thanks GL!

  • 6 Lovin' the 80's // Oct 17, 2008 at 11:38 am

    they were over near the name/low #’ed streets around 5th ave about 3 weeks ago. they wear con-ed lanyards around their necks which sort of makes them look official. they’re fast-talking but i won’t just give out information to people who ring my bell.

  • 7 Miss Lo // Oct 17, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This scam has been an ongoing topic in the Boerum Hill Yahoo group. Likewise, I’ve been called on the phone by these people (who are incredibly unprofessional-sounding) .

  • 8 ccgh // Oct 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    If it could not be more IRONIC, an women in her 20’s in a black suit, glasses and blond hair just rang our bell wearing an IDT ENERGY LANYARD!

    30 mins ago.

  • 9 Stephanie // Oct 17, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I just sent Aaron an email. We were hit by these folks on Terrace Place between 20th and McDonald one evening last week!

  • 10 Shield // Oct 17, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    In addition to working with CCGH, you could also file a complaint with the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Better Business Bureau.

  • 11 matt barone // Oct 18, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    these people came to my house today in midwood/flatbush aveune j and 14th

  • 12 df // Jan 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    A guy just came to my apartment in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Watch out!

  • 13 Xris (Flatbush Gardener) // Jan 14, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    They’re back and active in Flatbush as of 5pm this afternoon.

  • 14 Margoth B. // Jan 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    In the early afternoon of January 20, 2009.Three individuals invaded my co-op building located in Jackson Heights, Queens.
    My intercom bell rang and I knew I was not expecting anyone, so I looked out my 3rd Floor apartment window and noticed someone entering the house.
    Shortly after, my front door bell rang, I looked out the peep hole and saw a man in his early 20’s who claimed to be with ConEd.
    When I said I did not have an appointment with them he claimed “this has to be done, I have to do a survey and look at your electric bill to do a survey”.
    When I opened the door the man mentioned IDT energy.
    At that point I asked him to leave the building because it is private property and solicitors are not authorized to enter the building in such a fashion, without an appointment.
    The man refused to leave and rang my next door neighbor’s door bell. When I offered to have the police remove him I realized there was another man at the fourth floor who claimed that “they had been authorized by our super”, and that a resident on that floor, who happens to be a very elderly lady, had an appointment with them.
    They had actually represented themselves to my neighbor as ConEd representatives to gain entry into our home.
    When the two men finally began their march down to our ground floor I found there was also a woman on the first floor. Needless to say, it is frightening that company representatives would resort to trespassing, and for what I see, this seems to be happening all over New York City. Thank you for informing us.

  • 15 newyorkshitty.com » Blog Archive » From The New York Shitty Inbox: They’re BAAACK! // Jul 6, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    […] To read tales of woe about this organization’s scam click here. […]