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Northampton police warn of scams

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton police are warning about two scams involving the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and the Affordable Health Care Act.

Kate Agin, a spokeswoman for Northeast Utilities which is the parent company of WMECO, said some utility customers are being fraudulently informed there is an error with their bill.

According to Agin, the targeted customers are being called and told there were insufficient funds to cover their last electric bill payment and they must purchase a pre-paid debit card to cover the bill or face their power being shut off.

Agin said in a statement that WMECO does not handle missed payments in that manner.

WMECO customers who have questions about their bill are advised to call 1-877-OK-WMECO. Anyone who has received a call similar to the one described should contact their local police department, Agin said.

The other scam, police said, involves phone calls from people claiming to be collecting information for the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

Callers are contacting people and informing them they have been selected to receive special insurance cards under the new provision and some personal information is required to complete the process.

There are no special insurance cards being issued as part of the act, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Northampton Police Capt. Scott A. Savino said there have been no reports of anyone locally having received such a call, but he advises people to be aware of the scam as the new law rolls out over the next few months.

Anyone who receives calls like these should contact their local police department.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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