Fraud alert: AKCSS Data Consulting LLC, or someone pretending to be from that company, is posing as BGE

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Be very careful in dealing with AKCSS Data Consulting LLC of 9520 Wilcrest Drive, 1211, Houston, Texas 77099.

This company, or perhaps someone pretending to represent it, is engaged in fraud.

I know this because I almost got sucked into a scam.

I recently discovered that I had fallen behind on a payment to my local utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE). I didn’t knowingly get into arrears. It happened because BGE recently began paperless billing for its customers. BGE offered an opt-out for customers so they could continue to receive paper bills. Apparently, I missed the opt-out deadline. I logged into the BGE website and requested paper billing, yet, unknown to me at the time, paperless billing continued. Because I didn’t receive a bill, my account was in arrears.

I googled BGE on Sept. 13 (2023) and called a telephone number that was listed. When I called, I believed I was speaking to BGE and the person at the other end of the call gave me no reason to believe otherwise. I explained my predicament and the man said BGE has been having a lot of trouble with paperless billing lately and many other customers were in the same situation.

I gave my name, address, and email address and he looked up my account and –amazingly enough– told me the correct amount owing. He offered to reduce the amount owing for my inconvenience and an invoice was emailed to me.

Because I thought I was dealing with BGE I had not been not suspicious.

But then I examined the invoice and found it was from AKCSS Data Consulting LLC, not BGE. And instead of a customized email address, the contact person’s email address was

Moreover, the man was quite insistent that I make the payment immediately.

I resisted. He became angry and said my services would be cut off immediately if I did not pay. He then texted to my cellphone an official-looking “Make A Payment” notice, along with the warning, “We are going to disconnect right now[.]” The text originated from the phone number (240) 829-9929.

BGE is a reputable utility — it would never behave this way. I argued with him briefly and hung up the phone.

I then reported the incident to BGE and it confirmed this was an attempt at fraud.

This is a disturbing reminder that scammers are becoming incredibly sophisticated.

Be careful.