IDT Energy Scam...have you been hit up?
  • This has appeared on brownstoner and gowanuslounge today in response to a post from the CCGH on their newsgroup, stablebrooklyn and the Windsor Terrace Alliance newsgroups. Seems this scam by IDT Energy, potential criminal one, has been perpetrated all over Brooklyn! GWH, WT, CG, SPS, PH, PS, WB...you name it.

    Here's an excerpt from the post on brownstoner:

    We were sent this report courtesy of Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights. Folks from Windsor Terrace, Greenwood Heights and Flatbush have confirmed the same thing going on in their hoods.

    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.

    Update: If you want to contact CCGH about the issue, send an email [info (at) ccgreenwoodhts.com].

    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 goto to IDT Energy's website for more info, await something in the mail and make our own educated decision at a later date. 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. Seems we're not the only community.

    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. We're doing research on-line and have already come across this scam and that company's name (I wish we had kept their card!). But, IDT is subcontracting this out, thus they are the end culprit!


    I think this may be a much larger issue as originally reported by the The Consumerist

    The folks at CCGH are trying to get a tally on how many people may have been scammed, had a bad experience, etc. with IDT Energy and their reps, so they can e-mail them at info (at) ccgreenwoodhts.com They want to take this issue to Brooklyn Community Board 7, the beyond to local elected officials and perhaps the NYS Attorney General.

    Anyone had this issue? These fellas were all over GWH!
  • they hit me up but i think im a MORE aggressive person and then saw that i wasnt having their bullshit..

    but anyway it was a couple

    blkman lightskin about 6'1ish briads
    blkwoman drkbrown about 5'5 ish short hair

    they kept asking to see OLD bills to "compare" the bills and show me how i was OVER charged.

    this was yesterday thursday oct 16th
  • What neighborhood?
  • prospect heights

    underhill ave / sterling to be exact !
  • Last February, we had an IDT rep bothering people in our coop on a Saturday night about dinnertime. I got two phone calls, and went and asked that they leave the building (once notiifed, they must depart). This rep raised such a problem, she threatened me, pushed me, threatened and chased my wife, we finally get her out of the building. She calls the police and claims my wife harassed her.

    It was our son's birthday, we had better things to do than deal with this borderline criminal behavior. The cops took the rep's story, took mine, told me to go back hope to my family, they escorted her out.

    We reported it to IDT, then put up a sign specifically denying entrance to IDT employees.

    I would suspect they have been back in the building since then, as this was not the first time we have had trouble with IDT.
  • Ugh, IDT is a horrible company. I was stupid enough to switch phone service to them while I was in New Jersey. When I called to cancel, the woman asked if there was anything else that she could do for me, i said "No, your company sucks" and she actually laughed. I also know someone who worked there and there is or was a sex discrimination lawsuit against them. I suspect that they settled.
  • Just had a phone call two minutes ago where they initially said they were calling on behalf of National Grid. I had to ask three times exactly who they worked for but she never gave me a company name (although she said she was Sheila Perez). The number they called from was 347-298-0196; sounded like a boiler room type of operation as I could hear a lot of conversation in the background. Sounds like they are really stepping up efforts. I told them not to call back and that I didn't have any authority to make changes to my household's utility bills.
  • I found a letter today saying we have been changed over to IDT...

    Utilities are in my roommates name and I am out of the lease in a little over a month... I will let him know, but we're canceling everything soon anyways...
  • They rang up to our apartment about a month ago and kept insisting we let them in to talk about the benefits of IDT. Instead, I asked a few questions over the speaker and asked for their website, thanked them for their time and passed on the opportunity.
  • Oh my God IDT is the worst! I had one guy call me constantly and when I screamed at him to leave me alone--they just had someone else call me instead.

    Just yesterday some kid got into our building and went knocking door to door asking people to show him their energy bills. I chased him off and called Con Ed. They said the best thing to to do (besides threatening to call the cops on them) is to put a block on your account. That way no one can change or alter your service without getting your expicit permission first.
  • well..they got me, how do i get out of it?
  • what's "got me?"

    You can contact Con Ed/ Nat Grid if it's within 30 days and put a block on it. Otherwise call IDT and say NO, then call Con Ed/Nat Grid.
  • Just heard that there's going to be a piece on Brooklyn News 12 tonight at 5pm and 10:30pm.
  • They're in Greenpoint today. As I got on the G train at Greenpoint Avenue at about 130 pm, a group of 10 or 12 got off wearing IDT identification cards and carrying clipboards. Mostly early 20s, with one thirtyish-looking guy who was apparently their supervisor reminding them to make sure they had everything as they got off the train.

    So I guess those IDs might not be so openly displayed while they're actually knocking on doors?
  • A bunch of them are on Sterling and Underhill right now.
  • Did anyone catch the News 12 spot on our 'hood getting scammed?
  • arches wrote: A bunch of them are on Sterling and Underhill right now.


    Call 311!
  • They were coming around my building today. Totally shady. The lady who was making the pitch to me acted like they were from Con-Ed, even lying when I directly asked whether they were from Con-Ed. I could hear another one of them giving the spiel to someone else in my building in the background.

    I called her out on the lie and told them to beat it.

    SCAMMERS.
  • They came by a few days ago. My wife gave them a loud/knowing "Uh..NO!" and they fled. I thank PSP for giving us the heads-up.
  • Wow. Had no idea. We were switched over months ago - dont believe we ever signed off on it but def gave the scammer some of our time and the bills are certainly from IDT. You can cancel in under a minute via con-ed (found that info on consumerist, and called to confirm). I do now - with my 20/20 hindsight - recall paying more on the bills and feeling a bit skeeved (as in didn't feel confident in his Con-Ed affiliation claim) out by the person pitching the switch to us. Live and learn! Any way to organize and put a stop to this blatant misrepresentation? A class action suit? I've got all my old bills! Who's with me!
  • They came to my door tonight (10th Street off 8th Ave.). I told him I don't pay utilities and didn't know who the owner was. He looked like he didn't believe me but didn't pursue it. I'd read all about it on Gowanus Lounge and Consumerist but had dinner ready and didn't want to get into it with the guy.
  • +1 thanks for posting this. Will be on the lookout for them now.
  • LincolnAnnex wrote: Wow. Had no idea. We were switched over months ago - dont believe we ever signed off on it but def gave the scammer some of our time and the bills are certainly from IDT. You can cancel in under a minute via con-ed (found that info on consumerist, and called to confirm). I do now - with my 20/20 hindsight - recall paying more on the bills and feeling a bit skeeved (as in didn't feel confident in his Con-Ed affiliation claim) out by the person pitching the switch to us. Live and learn! Any way to organize and put a stop to this blatant misrepresentation? A class action suit? I've got all my old bills! Who's with me!


    I got switched over a couple of years ago. No scam in that the didn't misrepresent who they worked for, but was definitely scammed by the 7% savings they claim b/c it's only guaranteed for the first 2 months, and then you get switched to variable pricing that's set by market rate. So, with the soaring energy costs the past year, I'm quite sure I got gouged. Have no way of knowing for certain, of course. Anyway, a couple of guys came by my door yesterday, and when I told them I'd switched to IDT energy, they then tried converting me for my gas. I told them I'd look into it, and after a bit of googling, I realized I'd been had, called ConEd and switched back to them. Who knows? Maybe with energy prices dropping, it's a mistake and I should switch to a different ESCO, but at this point, I just want to see what rates ConEd is charging before I do it.
  • Just came through via one of the news groups I'm on

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bus/895219037.html

    Energy Company/ Looking to hire ASAP (Midtown)
    Reply to: job-895219037@craigslist.org [?]
    Date: 2008-10-27, 11:33AM EDT


    Midtown Promotions is looking for highly motivated individuals to work with Telecommunication and Energy companies such as Verizon, AT&T and IDT Energy.
    Entry-Level management, sales and marketing positions are available.
    We are looking to expand, so advancement and growth opportunities are definitely provided for all candidates.
    No Experience Necessary

    FULL TIME POSOTIONS ONLY!

    Training is provided to all candidates

    $400 to $600/wk

    We are conducting interviews Monday through Thursday 12pm to 3pm walk ins are welcome or if you want to schedule an interview for a specific time please call 347-594-2981 and ask for Lissy. Our address is 21West 39th Street Suite 4B (located between 5th and 6th ave) please ask for Derek when you get there.




    Who's gonna call?

    These are the scumbags that theconsumerist.com profiles in 2007

    Gotta put these folks out of biz. :evil:
  • THIS HAPPENED TO ME A FEW YEARS AGO. GOT A BILL IN THE MAIL SAYING I SWITCHED AND I DID NOT. I WAS VERY AGGRESSIVE OR I SHOULD SAY MY BOYFRIEND WAS AND GOT RID OF THEM VERY QUICKLY. HOW DO THEY GET AWAY WITH THIS STUFF. TERRY (BROOKLYN BACK WHEN)
    SORRY TO INTRUDE
  • I was going in to walk my neighbors dog and there were 3 of them in the lobby and one asked me if i lived in the apartment and when i said "no. Im just walking her dog" he looked right at me and said "nice excuse." I said "uh..you are rude and whether you like my answer or not, its true"
    Then, when i came out he was standing stalker-ishly outside the apartment door (like he was listening in to the apt). The little charmer of a dog almost bit his leg off. The guy starts yelling "get that dog away from me" I looked right at his and said "you get the f*ck away from this door or Im calling the cops"
    Unbelievable.
  • They were working my building the other day when I came home from work. Really loud and obnoxious. The peep hole on my front door is one of those old-fashioned kind, basically a hole in the door with a little cover and you can see right into the living room if you were to push the cover back a look through, and when I got home I could tell that someone had been doing that because the cover wasn't in its latch even though it was closed. Probably them. Kind of missed me off. If I were home, someone would've gotten a eye full of pepper spray or a broken finger. But at least I didn't have to deal with them directly. And thanks to this board I knew exactly who they were and what they were up to.
  • Hello,

    My name is Roberto Nascimento. I am a journalism student at NYU and am writing a piece on the ongoing IDT scams in Brooklyn. They knocked on my door last week and said they were "for" (not "with") ConEd, which really pissed me off and prompted me to get into this. I would like to know if you or anyone you know have been scammed and are willing to come forward with their stories. I will be writing this with the intent of publishing, possibly in the Greenline, a community paper in Greenpoint which I write for.

    I'd appreciate it if you could help me.

    Thanks,

    Roberto

    robertofnascimento@gmail.com
  • Great to have another journalist cover this (so far on browntoner, gowanus lounge, Brooklyn News 12 and the Brooklyn Downtown Star...among others).

    Let's all reach out to Roberto. :)
  • UPDATE: according to a list serv I belong to, IDT ENERGY IS BACK in Greenwood Heights!

    And I'll bet all over south Brooklyn.

    Here's an excerpt:

    "Two gentlemen from IDT were working the block this afternoon. "Can I see your ConEd bill -- I need to show you something important." I told them that everyone on the block knew about them and that they should leave. They continued up the block, ringing doorbells. I followed them, snapping pictures with my cell, which seemed to irritate them & they walked away, around the corner."
  • Yup, they were definitely in our building in Greenwood Heights this weekend.
  • Amethyst wrote: Yup, they were definitely in our building in Greenwood Heights this weekend.


    Mine too, also in Greenwood heights. Luckily we have the security video phone, so they were unable to answer back once they were told to piss off.
  • New flier posted on brownstoner along with their post http://www.brownstoner.com/brownstoner/archives/2008/11/escos_energy_sc.php on how not to get scammed.

    Spread the word :)
  • lostingreenwoodhts wrote: Just came through via one of the news groups I'm on

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bus/895219037.html

    Energy Company/ Looking to hire ASAP (Midtown)
    Reply to: job-895219037@craigslist.org [?]
    Date: 2008-10-27, 11:33AM EDT


    Midtown Promotions is looking for highly motivated individuals to work with Telecommunication and Energy companies such as Verizon, AT&T and IDT Energy.
    Entry-Level management, sales and marketing positions are available.
    We are looking to expand, so advancement and growth opportunities are definitely provided for all candidates.
    No Experience Necessary

    FULL TIME POSOTIONS ONLY!

    Training is provided to all candidates

    $400 to $600/wk

    We are conducting interviews Monday through Thursday 12pm to 3pm walk ins are welcome or if you want to schedule an interview for a specific time please call 347-594-2981 and ask for Lissy. Our address is 21West 39th Street Suite 4B (located between 5th and 6th ave) please ask for Derek when you get there.




    Who's gonna call?

    These are the scumbags that theconsumerist.com profiles in 2007

    Gotta put these folks out of biz. :evil:


    I live on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and I was duped into signing up but called ConEd after finding out and got an ESCO block.

    1) Does IDT ever go to the same neighborhoods/building more than once? I might need to get a gun if they ever come into my building again.

    2) Is that job in the listing a 100% commission only job with no base pay?
  • lostingreenwoodhts wrote: Just came through via one of the news groups I'm on

    http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bus/895219037.html

    Energy Company/ Looking to hire ASAP (Midtown)
    Reply to: job-895219037@craigslist.org [?]
    Date: 2008-10-27, 11:33AM EDT


    Midtown Promotions is looking for highly motivated individuals to work with Telecommunication and Energy companies such as Verizon, AT&T and IDT Energy.
    Entry-Level management, sales and marketing positions are available.
    We are looking to expand, so advancement and growth opportunities are definitely provided for all candidates.
    No Experience Necessary

    FULL TIME POSOTIONS ONLY!

    Training is provided to all candidates

    $400 to $600/wk

    We are conducting interviews Monday through Thursday 12pm to 3pm walk ins are welcome or if you want to schedule an interview for a specific time please call 347-594-2981 and ask for Lissy. Our address is 21West 39th Street Suite 4B (located between 5th and 6th ave) please ask for Derek when you get there.




    Who's gonna call?

    These are the scumbags that theconsumerist.com profiles in 2007

    Gotta put these folks out of biz. :evil:


    I live on the Lower East Side in Manhattan and I was duped into signing up but called ConEd after finding out and got an ESCO block.

    1) Does IDT ever go to the same neighborhoods/building more than once? I might need to get a gun if they ever come into my building again.

    2) Is that job in the listing a 100% commission only job with no base pay?
  • 1) YES...get a bat, no guns!

    2) Yes, and thus they hire from the lower end of the food chain...and now age group, hiring high school students!
  • 1) YES...get a bat, no guns!

    2) Yes, and thus they hire from the lower end of the food chain...and now age group, hiring high school students!
  • lostingreenwoodhts wrote: 1) YES...get a bat, no guns!

    2) Yes, and thus they hire from the lower end of the food chain...and now age group, hiring high school students!


    Well, I do have a shillelegh. But seriously, the first time the show up, they say they are from ConEd, but the next time, it might be for a home robbery and in that situation, you have to defend yourself anyway you can. Great thread btw.
  • lostingreenwoodhts wrote: 1) YES...get a bat, no guns!

    2) Yes, and thus they hire from the lower end of the food chain...and now age group, hiring high school students!


    Well, I do have a shillelegh. But seriously, the first time the show up, they say they are from ConEd, but the next time, it might be for a home robbery and in that situation, you have to defend yourself anyway you can. Great thread btw.
  • I wish it wasn't such a "great thread" but SO MANY PEOPLE have been scammed by these guys...
  • I wish it wasn't such a "great thread" but SO MANY PEOPLE have been scammed by these guys...
  • So an IDT guy just came to my door and I foolishly signed their paper before doing any reading on it. I got a bad feeling about it and made them tear up everything I signed, but I'm still a little worried, and based on everything I've read about them now, I think I'm justified in my worry. They still ahve the torn up paper and could probably still put it together to get what they need. Is there any thing I can pre-emptively do to prevent them from making whatever changes they want to make?
  • GriffyMurphy wrote: So an IDT guy just came to my door and I foolishly signed their paper before doing any reading on it. I got a bad feeling about it and made them tear up everything I signed, but I'm still a little worried, and based on everything I've read about them now, I think I'm justified in my worry. They still ahve the torn up paper and could probably still put it together to get what they need. Is there any thing I can pre-emptively do to prevent them from making whatever changes they want to make?


    Call Con Ed ASAP and as for an "ESCOS freeze" on your account. Then they cannot switch you w/o your permission.

    Very important to do! Sorry to hear you got (or almost got) scammed.
  • They're hitting 4th Ave. in Sunset Park. Just got the "buzz." Thankfully, I don't buzz anyone I'm not expecting in and I went downstairs. At first, I thought he was a Fedex guy - looked like envelopes in his hand. Totally talked over me with the "happy holidays! I'm Reggie from...mumble mumble" and tried to shake my hand. When I said "From what?" I still couldn't understand what he said so I said "Go away, you're not welcome in the building." He started laughing like I was joking or something. I shut the door and walked away.
  • Good response. Hope you wished him a Merry Effin' Xmas...or Happy Mithras or the like.
  • Just received this from one of the list servs I am not. A MUST READ if you have been scammed by IDT:



    I was contacted for the second time by an anonymous tipster who recommended yet another venue to complain against IDT Energy's (IDT Corporation) and Midtown Promotions' "ESCOS Slamming" (scamming) techniques perpetrated on our communities and others through out Brooklyn, Queens and the City. While complaints to the New York State Public Service Commission and the Better Business Bureau of NJ and NY, you can also submit anonymous complaints against IDT to their auditor, Grant Thorton LLP ( http://www.grantthornton.com/ ) via an ethics complaint company EthicsPoint.

    Thanks to the hundreds of you who have responded (with horror stories, unfortunately) to date.

    We have filed two complaints as of today:

    1. Falsification of contracts, reports or records (i.e. if you were ESCOS Slammed)

    2. Misconduct or inappropriate behavior (i.e. "Hi, I work for Con Ed/Nat Grid and I can save you $$" or aggressive sales tactics)

    I encourage EVERYONE who has written/called us or posted complaints on browstoner, gowanuslounge or brooklynian or to CB7 to take the 10 mins to file one or two complaints.

    Here's how you go about filing an on-line complaint (you can do it by phone as well at 866-739-4134):

    1. Visit https://secure.ethicspoint.com/domain/en/report_custom.asp?clientid=15191 or via Grant Thorton LLP's website, under the "ethics" link at the bottom of every page.

    2. Click on the "Make a Report" button (this will take you to the Ethicspoint.com portal)

    3. You will see options on how to report a single or multiple ethics transgressions against IDT Energy (IDT Corporation) and their third-party sales team at Midtown promotions (Chris Polke, CEO) as it states "You are currently in the confidential and secure reporting structure of EthicsPoint. Below are the choices available to you. Please click on the arrow to select the type of report you would like to make."

    4. Depending on whether you were "ESCOS slammed" (ie. signed up for service change to IDT Energy with out your permission) or scammed by a sales rep into thinking the change "will save you money" or if they represented themselves as "working for Con Ed or National Grid."

    5. As per above, select either (or both): Falsification of contracts, reports or records and/or Misconduct or inappropriate behavior

    It is important to fill out as much info as you may have, which can be done anonymously, but make sure to reference you are "filing a complaint against IDT Energy (IDT Corporation) and their 3rd-party sales team Midtown Promotions to the independent auditor Grant Thorton LLP."

    It's that easy (really)! Took me longer to read my e-mail than to file the complaint :)

    Grant Thorton LLP MUST investigate all ethics charges and report them back to their board and subsequently to the SEC and other agencies due to IDT Energy's conduct and if it deemed unethical or illegal. Think about Enron and Arthur Anderson...ring a bell?

    Ultimately it's all up to you. I'm just passing along the info. This and help from our local electeds should help us turn the tide against this type of improper sales tactics!

    NOTE: for the press and the blogs, if you repost this (please do) leave my name of of it (or contact me if you need to). For our fellow community groups and list serves: please pass this info along to anyone who may have been slammed or scammed.

    Perhaps we'll get a New Year's treat and see IDT Energy (IDT Corporation) and Midtown promotions get what's coming to them...proper legal action ad accountability for, in my POV, their illegal and unethical sales techniques.

    Happy 2009 in advance to all!


    Anyone gonna file a complaint?
  • fyi...they were out in sunset park tonight. they rang my aunt's bell and entered the apartment building where they live. 38th st and 5th ave area. we warned her of the scam and she notified the other neighbors.
  • Completely disappointing article in the NY Post yesterday that was fwd to me:

    SCAMMERS' POWER STING

    February 8, 2009

    By ANGELA MONTEFINISE

    Big Apple homeowners are getting zapped by a shocking door-to-door scam.

    In an attempt to grab Con Ed customers, energy service companies are ringing bells in Brooklyn and Queens offering drastically cheaper rates for delivering electricity.

    The only problem is the salespeople often lie, forge and misrepresent themselves to do it, according to victims. "It's very disturbing," said City Councilman Bill de Blasio (D-Brooklyn), whose office is fielding persistent complaints and has created a hot line for victims.

    The scam is simple: Salesmen knock on the door and ask for the homeowner's Con Ed bill. Sometimes the salesmen identify themselves properly, but often they imply or say they're from Con Ed.

    After looking at the bill and pointing out high charges, they quote a false rate to entice the homeowner to switch or take down personal information to facilitate an unauthorized switch.
  • Wow, I'm only now realizing that I fell for this.

    I'm going to call IDT and cancel now, and then call ConEd.
  • Energy scam!
    Two thugs pretending to work for an energy company snatched a laptop and $800 from a Lorimer Street woman’s apartment on April 7.

    The con-men knocked on her door at around 1:15 pm and convinced her they were official by showing off their fake identification badges.

    “We work for the energy company,” said one of the thugs. “We can lower your bill.”

    While the 28-year-old victim searched her home for her energy bill, the crooks snatched the cash and the computer from the top of her dresser and fled from the apartment, which is between Ten Eyck and Maujer streets.



    http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/32/15/32_15_bm_90_blot.html
  • GC72 wrote: They were working my building the other day when I came home from work. Really loud and obnoxious. The peep hole on my front door is one of those old-fashioned kind, basically a hole in the door with a little cover and you can see right into the living room if you were to push the cover back a look through, and when I got home I could tell that someone had been doing that because the cover wasn't in its latch even though it was closed. Probably them. Kind of missed me off. If I were home, someone would've gotten a eye full of pepper spray or a broken finger. But at least I didn't have to deal with them directly. And thanks to this board I knew exactly who they were and what they were up to.



    You always bring your pepper spray? It's a good self defense. I always bring mine.
  • A group of people referring to themselves as GGC Consulting, is presently engaging in the the same tactics in western Crown Heights.The names may change....
  • hey, I signed up with IDT energy a 6 months ago and I'm really satisfied with what they offering. the IDT rep who came to my door was talking professionally and he explained the program very well. they offer me a fix rate 3 cent kw/h which is good, because it helps me controlling my energy usage. I don't know why everyone here pissed off but for me I been using IDT as a supplier and everything is good and my bill still the same.  
  • Nidal,

    It's hardly worth shilling for IDT at this late date. Their bad reputation is well established and few people are foolish enough to fall for their scam.