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Utility Scammers are on the Prowl

Posted By IAMU, Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Keep your customers from becoming conned.

There have been reports nationally, and even in Iowa, of scammers targeting utility customers. Be proactive and protect your customers by supplying them with the information and resources they need so that they aren’t tricked.

 

Below is some information that you can customize for your utility to distribute to your customers either in print or electronic form or send to local media for their use.


Don’t get duped by utility scammers

 

Most utility scams involve criminals posing as natural gas, electric, or water provider employees — either in person, over the phone, or via internet — and demanding immediate payment via cash, credit cards, or prepaid debit cards, supposedly to prevent service disconnection.

 

These criminals can be very convincing. They also often target those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly and non-native English speakers.

 

If you believe you have been targeted by utility scammers:

 

  • Hang up the phone or close the door, and call [your utility company’s] direct phone number, which is XXX-XXX-XXXX.
  •  Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, a wire transfer, or any other form of payment, which may be difficult to trace.
  •  Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
  •  Delete any emails from utilities that are not your service provider. Also, delete all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.

 

To learn more about scams that may be active in your area, or if you have questions about the authenticity of communications from individuals claiming to be utility representatives, Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number, the Iowa Attorney General’s office at 515-281-5926 or 888-777-4590 (outside of the Des Moines metro area), and/or contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Tags:  Communication Tools  Utility Scammers 

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