As the Federal Trade Commission notes, scammers like to pose as utility workers to gain your confidence by claiming to be from your gas, water or electric company. They say your service will be cut off if you don’t pay them immediately. This is a scam. Actual utility companies don’t do this. But these scammers want to scare you into paying before you have time to confirm what they’re telling you.
It is important to always remember:
- We don’t collect payments in person.
- Our employees wear logoed blue denim shirts and jeans.
- Our employees carry a company ID.
- Our employees drive logoed vehicles.
- Make sure to dispose of your bills properly by shredding or destroying them so your personal information cannot be obtained. (This is another good reason to sign up for our paperless billing.)
6 Easy Ways to Protect Yourself from Scammers*
- Be extra careful if giving personal information over the phone
Never provide your Social Security Number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.
- Pay your bills with your personal information
Never pay your bills with information that is not your own.
- Do your research on the person calling you
If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
- Beware of the door-to-door sales approach
Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you scheduled an appointment or reported a utility problem. Always ask utility employees for proper identification.
- Be proactive
If you already have provided information to someone claiming to offer this service, contact your bank immediately. Also, contact the three national credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion and request a notation made on your account so that it doesn't impact your credit rating.
- Inform others
Share this information with friends and family so they do not become victims. The elderly are common victims of this type of scam, but anyone who pays a utility bill is a potential victim.
*Source: Better Business Bureau