Scammers Posing as Consumers Energy Workers Hit Williamston

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

If you thought your electricity was going to get shut off during winter, how quickly would you pay up?

Several people living in Williamston, and even a local business, have been scammed into giving money to criminals thinking it was their power company calling.

Residents and businesses received calls from someone claiming to be with Consumers Energy demanding a payment be made within two hours after the call or their power would be shut off.

It's a scam Consumers Energy says has already been reported in the Flint and Grand Rapids areas.

"If people are contacting you and trying to pressure you into immediate payment, especially via a pre-paid debit card, that is not the way we do business and we want people to know that," said Brian Wheeler, spokesperson with Consumers Energy.

The caller urged customers to pay using a pre-paid Green Dot card, which is available at most pharmacies and supermarkets, which should send up red flags, according to Wheeler.

"The way people are normally contacted is often via mail with a notice they're delinquent on payments and there are many ways to carefully and correctly make payments," he said.

Wheeler said customers should only pay their utility bill through the company's secure online service, by mail, or in person at an authorized payment center.

Williamston police say the call came from a number that appeared as 'Consumers Energy' in a customer's caller ID and when dialed back the call went to a voice message claiming to be Consumers Energy.

"We have a security team that is aware of what's going on with this scam and we're in contact with law enforcement," Wheeler said. "The important this is they don't give money to people like this because there's not any hope to get it back."

Residents or businesses who believe they may have been victims of this scam or who have related concerns should call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.

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