Police: Ignore door-to-door energy-audit people

Boston Police report they're investigating a possible scam involving a guy claiming to be from an outfit called Just Energy, going around the Newcastle Road area in Brighton, knocking on doors and asking homeowners if they'd like an energy audit:

In one case, a community member states that an individual described as a black male in his thirties, 5’8” tall, holding a clipboard and wearing what appeared to be a uniform, possibly green in color, knocked on his door and offered to conduct an energy audit. When the suspect asked to see the victim’s energy bill, the victim declined and then instructed the suspect to get off his property. Initially, the suspect refused, but by the time police arrived, the suspect was gone.

If you do want your energy use checked, Mass Save offers free audits - which you have to apply for by phone or online, and which typically are scheduled for a few weeks after you contact them.

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      energy guy

      By on

      Yep, he came to my place in Ten Hills Somerville too.
      It was creepy and I knew just from looking at him that something was up. I barely opened the door.

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      He came to

      By on

      my house in West Roxbury, however the individual was Hispanic and in his 20's.

      How do you know it's fake?

      We've had people come to our house in Medford from electric resellers and distributors. The way the law works in MA is that you buy your electricity from one company and pay Nstar/National Grid/etc to deliver it.

      The people who have come to our house are real employees of a legitimate company and they've asked to see our electric bill so they know who we are currently using as a reseller. These resellers are normal offering a more expensive service which come from "green" sources.

      I always decline to give them any information or let them into the house. Sometimes they are a bit pushy with a hard sell but they've never refused to leave the front steps.

      The whole thing is fake.

      By on

      The whole thing is fake. Essentially, they insert themselves as a third party on your gas/electric bill, charging a fee for the same old non-green energy. Their contracts actually say that any cost savings or energy efficiencies that their salespeople say you are not guaranteed. The wording is different, but the sentiment is there. Also, prices are variable, dependent upon the energy market and subject to month-to-month fluctuations of up to 35%.

      In short, they're scammers with a long, long trail of AG actions in every state they've been in. Google Just Energy, or Just Green, and read.

      Lost cellphone in the South End...

      Guy matching the same description tried to get into my folks house by claiming his cellphone was in their backyard and could he come in and get it.

      They invited him to jump the fence.

      could be energy reseller salespeople...

      By on

      ..they just need the info on your bill (name, account) to switch you to the reseller and then they get commission for "signing up" the account.

      One reseller salesman was calling people around here and claiming to be "calling from "local utility company" and their bill would be lowered if they just gave him their account number. They gave him their account number. It didn't occur to them that if the salesman actually worked for the utility company, he would have their account number and not need to ask them for it.

      Their bills did go down - for a couple mints and then went up higher.

      I had a Just Energy fellow

      By on

      I had a Just Energy fellow come to my door in JP (near Egleston) earlier this week. He wore a Just Energy ID badge (that didn't seem to have a proper contractor number on it, though it might have been printed on another line) and a high school athletic jacket over generic polo and jeans, early 20s with a Caribbean accent - I think his name was Jean. He carried a blue accordion-style folder with no identifying markings; I also didn't see any official-looking vehicles. After explaining what he was here to do (energy audit), he requested to see a utility bill with my account number on it.

      Since I have gone paperless with my billing I was unable to offer him any kind of billing information on the spot. After a few further attempts to collect my account number I was able to convince him to leave me a brochure (the brochure itself seems to check out, but anyone can get those) before sending him on his way.

      Had someone very much like

      By on

      Had someone very much like the description at my door in Upham's Corner about 3-4 weeks ago.

      Same spiel, didn't quite catch the name... "something" Energy. Mumbled some at the beginning, too, so it comes across as " I'm from the ____ company, checking the efficiency of your electric service..."

      Told him I hadn't called the electric company to send anyone, they hadn't called to tell me they were sending anyone, and that they already have my billing info, and shut the door. Called NStar to make sure he wasn't theirs.

      Worst case is some sort of ID theft scam or an excuse to go door-to-door, casing houses by what they look like from the door and who answers the door.

      Best case is a not-very-competent phishing/marketing scheme from some purported energy provider. If it was an actual company, I hope it sinks in on them how badly they fail with a half-assed canvas like this - with a poorly delivered sales pitch, no clear ID on their rep, no sales material documenting anything about them, and doing something that raises ID-theft warning flags. If they found a few good people and paid them decently for their time, they'd get better results.

      Ouch!

      By on

      Sorry to hear that your mom got scammed by these charlatans, anon! That's a drag. In fact, many, if not most of the people who become prey to such scammers are the elderly, the very young, or people who are handicapped in some way or other, either physically or mentally.

      As the economy gets worse, and with the holiday season in swing, there may well be more of these scammers out and around.