Indiana Michigan Power is warning Hoosiers of a scam going around.
They say scammers are pretending to be employees with I&M, calling customers and claiming they are late paying their electric bill. They’ll then threaten to shut off your power if you don’t call a different number to make a payment, and might even ask for bank account or debit card information.
I&M reminds customers that they’ve suspended disconnects to help those who are struggling to make payments during the pandemic, and they would never call a customer and demand an immediate payment.
Indiana Michigan Power released the following information about the scam:
Scams are not unique to I&M, nor have they gone away with the emergence of
the COVID-19 pandemic. Scams have been reported across the U.S. targeting various utility customers and companies. Some scam calls have recently been reported to I&M, including calls where scammers are speaking in other languages, like Spanish.
The scams often vary, but often work like this:
Customers receive calls from scammers falsely identifying themselves as I&M employees.
The caller claims the customer is late paying their bill, and their power will be disconnected if the customer does not pay immediately.
Many scammers “spoof” the telephone number to appear as a different number. In some cases, it may appear to be an authentic I&M phone number.
Customers are usually instructed to call a different number to arrange payment.
The scammers may seek account information or personal credit card and banking information from customers. Some direct customers to buy a debit card and provide the debit card number.
During the pandemic, I&M has suspended disconnects for non-payment. We remind customers that they are still responsible for their bills and it is important that they continue paying for their usage.
For assistance on paying their bill, Indiana customers can contact us at 800-311-4634; Michigan customers should call 800-311-6424. We also encourage customers to follow us on Facebook (facebook.com/indianamichiganpower) and Twitter (@IN_MI_Power) where they can speak directly with customer service specialists on those platforms.
Regardless of the situation, I&M employees NEVER call customers demanding immediate payment. Nor does I&M disconnect service without prior written warning.
Anyone receiving such calls should hang up and call I&M’s Customer Operations Center at 800-311-4634 to report the scam.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the physical distancing recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I&M and our contractors are limiting in-person visits during this process to ensure the public’s and our employee’s safety and health.