Recently, there have been several reports of individuals and businesses that have been scammed by callers posing as the individual’s utility company. The callers seem to be able to “spoof” the caller ID so that it appears as though the call is legitimate. The caller demands immediate payment of a charge, generally via pre-paid credit card, in order to prevent imminent shut off of the customer’s electric service and provides a phone number for the customer to call with payment information. Reports have indicated that this phone number is answered by an individual posing as a utility representative or rings through to a voicemail recording similar to one a customer would hear when calling their utility.
Customers should be aware that a utility company will never call a customer demanding immediate payment to keep services from being shut off and they will not demand a specific form of payment (i.e. pre-paid credit card, bank transfer, etc.).
The MI Agency for Energy and the Michigan Public Service Commission have developed this Consumer Tip to help customers identify utility imposters and to provide guidance in the event they are a victim of such a scam.