Is This Where The Word “Gaslighting” Came From?

, , , | Legal | November 6, 2020

Washington DC has separate gas and electric companies, and my building has no gas lines.

Scammer: “I am calling from [Electrical Company] and your gas will be turned off today.”

Me: “What is the address you have on my account?”

I know this is a scam, but I want to see how far the scammer will take this.

Scammer: “[Phone number].”

Me: “Not the phone number, the address.”

Scammer: “[Address].”

Me: “I don’t have natural gas.”

Scammer: “Yes, you do. You haven’t paid for seven months, and it will be shut off today.”

Me: “I live in a co-op and utilities come out of the fee.”

Scammer: “Your meter is not compatible with our systems. You owe for a new meter, not the bill.”

Me: “I don’t have an individual meter; the utilities are measured at the building level.”

Scammer: “Yes, you do. It is a little black box.”

Me: “Why wasn’t I notified about this before?”

Scammer: “We sent you a notification seven months ago.”

Me: “What was the date the notification was sent?”

Scammer: “July seventeenth and August nineteenth.”

Me: “That’s three months ago, not seven.”

Scammer: “Those were the dates of the most recent notifications, not the original one.”

I’ve had enough at this point.

Me: “I think you are trying to scam me.”

Scammer: *Frustrated* “You think what you want, ma’am.” *Click*

At least I ate up some of his time. I also reported the scam to the building manager so our elderly residents don’t get scared into paying!

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