The scams just keep coming! Fraudsters continue to develop new techniques to steal your sensitive financial information. The latest trick up their sleeves? Pretending to be your utility company!
Posing as a representative from an electric, cable, or satellite company, con artists call households and demand sensitive financial information on the spot in order to authorize payment. Sometimes they can show up at your door threatening to cut off services unless you pay immediately.
Utility scams is especially prevalent in the summer months when people are most likely to need their air conditioning. This summer, the scam has made its way across the country, from Colorado to Hawaii Island. So many West Virginians are personally affected that the state's Attorney General issued a stark warning to the public to be wary of this dangerous scam.
You should call your utility company's customer service to confirm the legitimacy of the claim, including the amount due, payment history and whether an employee has been dispatched to your home. Further, energy companies typically require their employees to carry a company-issued photo ID, and, if legitimate, are willing to wait until you verify identity. The number to call can be found on your monthly bills or the company's website.
Never give away sensitive financial information over the phone without confirming the identity of the person asking. That can be as simple as asking if you can call them back at a verified number, or, in this case, checking with a customer service representative from the utility company.
If you've fallen victim to this scam, immediately contact your local authorities.