Waterford residents warned about solicitors from alternative energy suppliers
WATERFORD, N.Y. – Police have charged five people in connection to allegedly scheming residents on energy services in Waterford.
Waterford's Public Safety Commissioner says on Monday an employee of Family Energy applied for a solicitor's permit which would allow them to solicit in the Town of Waterford for new customers or to offer energy services as an alternative National Grid.
According to authorities, the application was sent to the Office of the Public Safety Commissioner for review. During this step, the office found that the New York State Public Service Commission had received 93 customer complaints against Family Energy in 2012. In 2011, there were 40 complaints.
According to the office, the complaints stated the company was misleading the customers through their marketing. They also stated that the sales representatives allegedly misrepresented their identities.
Residents who have chosen to switch to Family Energy say they were asked to give the company their current energy bill in order to change the supplier. When the company had the bill with the account number, the numbers were allegedly used by the representative to change the resident's supplier without their knowledge or permission.
According to the office, this is an illegal practice frequently known as "slamming." Some residents were charged a $250 fee to change energy suppliers without the customer's knowledge.
According to police, The Office of the Public Safety Commissioner denied the solicitor's permit for the Town of Waterford.
On Tuesday, the Police Department received a report of a woman demanding to see a National Grid bill of a resident on Clifton Street. As officers responded to the area, the woman plus three others were questioned. None of the suspects, who claimed to be employees of Family Energy, Inc., had a valid driver's license. The suspect's van was towed and two individuals were released.
Karrel Willis, 19, and Shaunvay Vaughn, 19, both of Buffalo, were then charged with soliciting without a permit. Both were issued appearance tickets and will be back in town court on October 17.
The next day, police received another phone call from the State Street area about solicitors asking residents if they received $50 rebates. After police investigated, they found the individuals were employees of IDT Energy and they were soliciting for alternative energy sources.
Hakin Shabazz, 30, Musa Ibn Abdurrahman, 22, and Kajuan Thomas, 23, all of Albany, were charged with soliciting without a permit.
Police say they search IDT Energy and Family Energy, Inc., and found both companies had numerous complaints.
Residents of the Town and Village of Waterford are being reminded that anyone who goes door-to-door to solicit a product or service must have a permit.
Police also remind residents to never produce current energy bills unless you will commit to signing with the company. Also, if you feel pressured by a solicitor, ask them to leave and say you will discuss the matter with a family member. There have been times when a person has signed with an alternative energy supplier and they find they are locked in a contract for 5 years. Elderly people are typically targeted. Anyone who believes they are a victim of "slamming" should contact the Town of Waterford Police Department at 518-237-3341.
Local News <a href="http://www.wten.com/category/173731/-local-news">More>></a>Local NewsMore>>
BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – A woman who was recently sentenced to State Prison for causing a fatal crash, has posted bail pending her appeal. Traci Briskin's lawyer confirmed on Thursday that the Appellate DivisionMore >>
A woman who was recently sentenced to State Prison for causing a fatal crash, has been granted bail pending her appeal.More >>
GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – A 17-year-old Albany resident has been arrested after police say she pepper sprayed several people at the Macy's in Crossgates Mall. Rayonna Ward was arrested and faces numerous chargesMore >>
A 17-year-old Albany resident has been arrested after police say she pepper sprayed several people at the Macy's in Crossgates Mall.More >>
BETHLEHEM, N.Y. -- Bethlehem's Police Department has a new area to train its officers. The town just received some land donated by Callanan Industries. The land will be used as a firearm training range. Both theMore >>
Bethlehem's Police Department has a new area to train its officers.More >>
TROY, N.Y. --About 60 people will celebrate the holidays and New Year as U.S. citizens. They were naturalized Friday during a ceremony at the Rensselaer County Courthouse in Troy. Fifty-nine people tookMore >>
About 60 people will celebrate the holidays and New Year as U.S. citizens.More >>
TROY, N.Y. -- Santa Claus came to town a little early on Friday at the Head Start Program in Troy. Santa joined volunteers from the CAP COM Federal Credit Union as they handed out gifts to nearly 200More >>
Santa Claus came to town a little early on Friday at the Head Start Program in Troy.More >>
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Albany Police are investigating a shooting that occurred on Bradford Street on Thursday. At about 6:30 p.m. on December 12, officers responded to the area of North Lake Avenue and BradfordMore >>
Albany Police are investigating a shooting that occurred on Bradford Street on Thursday.More >>
Compiled below is a list of current snow emergencies around the Capital Region area. Village of Catskill – Beginning on Saturday, December 14, all vehicles should be parked on the even side of VillageMore >>
A full list of current snow emergencies around the Capital Region area.More >>
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- A teen was hospitalized after he was hit by a car in Schenectady Friday morning. The accident occurred at around 7:45 a.m. near the intersection of Albany Street and Wagner Avenue. Police sayMore >>
A teen was hospitalized after he was hit by a car in Schenectady Friday morning.More >>
EAST GREENBUSH, N.Y. -- As the Sandy Hook anniversary approaches, schools across the country are reviewing their security measures. On Friday, Columbia High School in East Greenbush shared the stepsMore >>
As the Sandy Hook anniversary approaches, schools across the country are reviewing their security measures.More >>
WHITEHALL, N.Y. – A boil water notice is in effect for all users of the Village of Whitehall Water System beginning Monday night as crew work on a water leak. The notice begins at 10 p.m. on DecemberMore >>
A boil water notice that went into effect Monday night for all users of the Village of Whitehall Water System has been lifted.More >>