CONSUMER ALERT: ComEd and Better Business Bureau Report Further Rise in Mobile Payment App Scams After Summer Heat Wave

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–When temperatures rise or fall to extremes and electricity consumption increases, ComEd and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ​​have observed scammers taking advantage of these conditions to swindle customers out of their hard-earned money .

In July 2022, following a period of extreme heat in the first five weeks of summer, ComEd received nearly 280 scam reports from customers, which is significantly higher than the 80 reports received in July 2021. In addition to the increase in incidents reported in July, the amount of money customers allegedly lost as a result of successful scams increased significantly to almost $25,000. That compares to around $4,000 lost to scams in July 2021.

“At ComEd, the safety and security of our customers are among our most important goals. That’s why we constantly monitor trends and share what we learn to help individuals identify unscrupulous activity,” said Melissa Washington, Chief Client Officer and Senior Vice President of Client Operations at ComEd. “ComEd will never call a customer to demand immediate payment, especially with a bank card, cryptocurrency, or mobile payment app.

Based on reported incidents, scammers are contacting ComEd customers by phone, although some contact may be made by text or email, demanding payment into a particular account under the threat of immediate disconnection from the service. The imposter will ask the customer to use a mobile payment app, such as Cash App, QuickPay, Venmo, or Zelle, which often have higher transaction limits than prepaid cards. In some cases, the scammer will falsely claim not to have received payment, so the victim transfers money two or three times.

“Our research shows that scammers are more successful if they can scare victims or create a sense of urgency. Unfortunately, energy impostor scams exhibit both of these characteristics,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “The BBB hears from consumers and business owners who felt they had to act quickly or their power would be cut off. Scammers will demand prompt payment and usually tell their victims to send money in an unconventional form of payment. We always urge people to contact the company directly to verify that the call is real. Additionally, to help protect the community, we ask anyone who has been approached by a scammer to please report it to the BBB Scamtracker, even if they haven’t lost any money.

Tips to help identify scams

1. ComEd will never call or visit a customer’s home or business to:

  • Request direct payment with a prepaid payment card, cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or third-party payment app like Cash App, QuickPay, Venmo, or Zelle.

  • Ask for immediate payment.

  • Ask for a ComEd account number or other personal information, such as a social security number, driver’s license number, or banking information.

2. To identify a genuine employee or ComEd communication, remember:

  • All ComEd field employees wear a uniform with the ComEd logo and visibly display a company identification badge with the employee’s logo and name. ComEd recently changed its logo, so you may continue to see the old ComEd logo on uniforms, badges, and vehicles until it is phased out.

  • Check the name on emails or websites and make sure they match the name and address of the company you are dealing with. Look for spelling mistakes or slight edits.

  • Make a call to verify that the suspected email or website is from a trusted source. Use a phone number from your personal business records or from the company’s official website and not the number provided in the email.

ComEd invites anyone who thinks they have been the target or victim of a scam to call ComEd at 1-800-EDISON1 (1-800-334-7661). To find out more visit

Any customer experiencing difficulty or difficulty with their electricity bill should call ComEd immediately at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON1), Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to determine what programs may be available to help with past due balances. For more information, visit

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NASDAQ: EXC), a Fortune 200 energy company with approximately 10 million electricity and natural gas customers – the largest number of customers in the United States. ComEd powers the lives of more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70% of the state’s population. For more information, visit and with the company on Facebook, Twitter, instagram and Youtube.

BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois is a nonprofit organization that has served both consumers and trusted businesses for more than 95 years and is part of the IABBB. We help protect consumers from scams and provide a free database for consumers to see ratings and reviews of businesses to find businesses they can trust. We connect consumers with businesses they can trust. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) is the hub of the BBB network in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Like the BBBs, the IABBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers, instilling consumer trust and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all. Please visit for more information.

Casey J. Nelson