Indiana Michigan Power says there’s an increasing number of scammers using more advanced tactics to target customers of utilities including electric, gas, water and more.
In most cases, scammers contact a utility customer by phone, email or in person, claiming the customer is late paying their bill.
They generally threaten that the customer’s service will be disconnected if the customer does not pay immediately.
Scammers often demand a wire transfer or a gift card. Sometimes they urge customers to buy a pre-paid debit card and use the card to provide payment.
Once the funds are used, they cannot be reversed. I&M wants customers to know their employees never call customers demanding immediate payment. Nor do they disconnect service without prior warning.
If someone demands immediate payment of a bill, take the following steps:
Slow down. Scammers often try to hurry customers. They may ask for personal information
in addition to immediate payment.
Verify. Scammers pose as utility company employees. If the scammer is on the phone,
make sure they can verify they are with the utility or can verify your account information. If
you are unsure, hang up and contact I&M directly by using the information on your most
recent bill or the I&M website. Remember that scammers increasingly use “spoof” numbers
that make it appear their call is originating from a legitimate business.
Stop before you act. Think about the information the caller is asking of you. If it seems
unsafe or incorrect, rethink the situation and ask questions.
Customers should use one of the authorized methods of paying your bill. Only make payments
online at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com; by mail; through the I&M mobile app; at authorized
payment locations; or by calling I&M at 800-311-4634 (Indiana) or 800-311-6424 (Michigan).