Our friends at the U.S. Chamber sent along the following useful information:
Did you know that small businesses and consumers across the country are falling victim to a group of criminals that are impersonating utility representatives?
That’s why the Energy Institute is supporting Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) – a coalition of utility companies who have joined together to safeguard customers from fraud committed by scammers.
These scammers are contacting business owners and consumers via telephone, mail, email or door-to-door and demanding immediate payment or personal information. They are also falsely threatening to disconnect or suspend utility services if immediate payment is not received.
UUAS and utility companies are working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify, and prosecute scammers as well as raise awareness of these scams and educate customers like you.
Here’s how you can spot and avoid being scammed:
- If you are contacted, hang up the phone or close the door, and call your utility’s customer service office.
- Decline to pay any caller or visitor claiming to be a company representative using a prepaid card, a wire transfer or similar forms of payment – especially those requiring an intermediary.
- Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.
- Delete all emails that demand immediate payment or personal information or that are from a company that is not your utility company.
Stopping scammers requires utilities, customers and the community to work together year-round. Through collaborative efforts like the utilities United Against Scams coalition, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that customers like you are protected from these malicious scammers.