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Protect Yourself Against Utility Scams

Jan 11, 2019 11:38:09 AM

Scammers are at it again! Utility and power customers around the country should be aware of telephone, mail, email, door-to-door and other in-person scams that involve criminals posing as utility company representatives and demanding immediate payment or personal information. You can protect yourself with these tips from Utilities United Against Scams and be vigilant against those attempting to impersonate your utility.

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What's Happening
Scammers are:

  • Impersonating electric, natural gas, and/or water company employees over the phone, email, in person or by other means.
  • Targeting vulnerable demographics, including senior citizens and non-native English-speaking persons.
  • Using advanced tactics, such as deceptive emails, playing a telephone recording that sounds like a utility company’s phone system message or displaying a utility company’s name and logo in person.
  • Threatening to disconnect or suspend utility service if immediate payment is not received.

Common Scams and Signs

  • Threatening to Disconnect Service Immediately
  • Requesting Immediate Payment
  • Requesting Purchase Prepaid Debit Card
  • Deceptive Emails

What to Do

APG&E will never call or email you to request some type of gift card purchase, credit card payment, or ask for your personal information. We will never call customers and threaten to terminate your service should you refuse any of these types of requests either. If you believe that you have been contacted by a criminal impersonating an electric company representative, or someone claiming to contact you on behalf of APG&E to request immediate payment for any services while on the phone or in person, you should:

  • Hang up the phone or close the door and call your electricity company to verify the activity. You can find this number on your utility company’s website or on your utility bill.
  • Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer or any other form of payment that may be difficult for law enforcement officials to trace.
  • Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete and block any emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
  • Delete all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.
  • Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number, your state attorney general’s office through its toll-free number, and/or contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or 1- 877- FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

You can review the entire Consumers Guide to Imposter Utility Scams online and follow them on Facebook@UtilitiesUnited or Twitter @U_U_A_S

Mollie Dean

Written by Mollie Dean

Mollie joined the APG&E team in January 2018. She is an experienced digital sales and marketing analyst with a history of working in retail electricity and natural gas.