Burns warns residents of utility phone scam with Penelec customers

EBENSBURG, Nov. 7 – In an effort to protect residents from being ripped off, today state Rep. Frank Burns has issued a warning about a phone scam involving Penelec customers. 


Burns, D-Cambria, said he was notified that scammers are calling Penelec customers telling them that they are behind on their bills and that if immediate payment isn’t made on their account over the phone, their energy service would be shut off immediately.


“Penelec and its parent company, FirstEnergy, will only send customers written notices of a possible disconnection and how to prevent it and won’t call you to demand immediate payment,” Burns said. “Keep in mind that these scammers will use spoofing software on caller ID to make it appear that the calls are legitimate and coming directly from a reputable company. Please be mindful of any company calling you demanding payment or asking for sensitive information, like your Social Security number or your bank account information – that’s a clear red flag that the call is indeed a scam.”


Burns added he has notified the state Attorney General’s office about this scam and is urging residents to contact Penelec directly with any concerns or questions about their bill at 1-800-545-7741. Concerned residents may also contact one of Burns’ district offices for assistance on this or any state-related matter:


  • Ebensburg office: (814) 472-8021
  • Portage office: (814) 736-7339
  • Johnstown (Lower Yoder Township) office: (814) 536-8400
  • Patton office: (814) 674-5675