Despite Years of Coverage, IDT Scams Intensify in Brooklyn

A number of local bloggers have been reporting on IDT Energy reps whose sales tactics aren't very consumer-friendly. Consumerist has made a mission of following the reps' antics ever since detailing an IDT senior citizen shakedown in August of 2006. In May Consumerist advised that "IDT Energy sales reps are back to their old tricks" -- that is, letting on that they're Con Ed workers and, using a discount offer as a come-on, getting tenants to put their information on disguised transfer request forms in an attempt to fraudulently switch their service to IDT.

There's been a recent flurry of reports that the scammers are at it again. On October 17 Gowanus Lounge reproduced a scam warning from Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights. Brownstoner, the Observer, Cobble Hill Blog, the Times' City Room and others also picked it up.

Posters at Brooklynian compared notes: "im a MORE aggressive person and [they] saw that i wasnt having their bullshit," said one. Another said an IDT rep "threatened me, pushed me, threatened and chased my wife... She calls the police and claims my wife harassed her."

Yesterday coverage got more intense: "IDT Energy Scammers on Carroll St. Right Now," announced Gowanus Lounge. They followed up with photos of the culprits from Pardon Me for Asking. "If these people come to your door call 311," advises GL.

Now we see the phenomenon has spread to the idyllic community of Gerritsen Beach. Our compliments to the citizen journalists, but with all this attention, why is this still going on? The FCC has acknowledged complaints about IDT's practices for years. Maybe it's time somebody sued.

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