Thursday, March 14, 2019

Trust your gut: Don’t fall for scam phone calls

“You owe more than $3,000.” Those words are enough to strike fear in anyone’s heart. Luckily, We Energies customer Terri Dreikosen knew exactly what to do when she heard them: hang up the phone.

Driekosen got the call Wednesday morning. “WE ENERGIES” showed up on the caller ID, and the number had a 262 area code. When she answered, a recorded voice told her to “remain on the line for an important message about your account.” But the “important message” that followed wasn’t really from We Energies. It was all a scam.

Usually, the crooks claim customers are behind on their bills and face disconnection unless an immediate payment is made with a pre-paid debit card or Green Dot card. In this case, they told Driekosen she qualified for a lower interest rate on her outstanding bills. But she knew she didn’t owe any money and hung up before they could con her.

That’s exactly what you should do too. If you get a call that sounds suspicious, trust your gut and hang up. We will never threaten you or ask you to pay us with a pre-paid card. If you’re unsure, call our Customer Care Center at 800-242-9137. They’ll help you verify if the call you received was a scam, check the status of your account and verify your payment history.

In March alone, customers have alerted us to about 75 scam calls. Luckily, none of them have fallen victim.

Unfortunately, these types of calls are a nationwide problem. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) regularly receives complaints from across the country about utility scams. If you lose money because of any scam, be sure to report the crime to local law enforcement.

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