Utility Scams Still Common, Even in Summer Months According to DATCP

Scammers don’t take a summer vacation, and the Wisconsin
Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection is still busy fielding calls
from consumers with complaints this time of year. Michelle Reinen, Director of
the Bureau of Consumer Protection, says calls about Utility Scams topped the
list for calls to their bureau for the month of May. “This is the WPS, WE
Energies, MG&E, or Alliant – the fake versions of each one of these
companies – calling to indicate that there are delinquent payments, you’re past
due, and if you don’t make that payment you’ll be disconnected,” Reinen said. She
adds that sometimes the scammer claims a work order number, a truck number and
even the name of a technician coming to disconnect the service if a payment is
not made.

Reinen says its important to know that the real utility
companies will not be making phone calls demanding payment if your past due on
a bill. “They don’t make these types of calls, they don’t want to be paid by a
pre-paid gift card or wiring money,” Reinen said. “They send you past-due notices,
they would be available for a phone call directly from your bill where you
could make a payment plan.” She adds that when it comes to disconnection, companies
tend to go door-to-door to make contact with you and ensure you have been receiving
their notices.

Anyone with questions
or who needs to file a complaint can call 1-800-422-7128 or visit this link.