Scammers posing as Consumer’s Energy
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A scam you need to know about; Callers posing as consumers energy reps, while threatening to shut off your power in just a few minutes unless you fork over payment.
The 5-1-7 area code on the caller ID was enough to convince Kevin Kleinhenz’s wife that this was a legit call.
Kleinhenz said, “They knew her name and address and everything and said we’re consumers power and were coming to disconnect your power in a half hour unless you make a payment right now.”
Kleinhenz’s wife was told they were two months behind on their bill, owing $98. It didn’t sound right, but the scammers told her to pay and then the company would supposedly investigate it. She gave her debit card number, the lady said it didn’t go through and asked if she instead had a credit card number.
And so she gave her credit card number.
That’s all it took for the scammers to get access to their cards. She went to the bank and discovered someone had taken out $498, and it wasn’t from Consumers Energy.
Consumer’s Energy representative Terry Dedoes stressed that the company tries to avoid shutoffs whenever possible.
“Shutting off a customer’s service is our last resort,” Dedoes said. “We give several different types of communication beforehand. We want to work with customers.”
Dedoes says they have scammers posing as them all the time. He says so far in 2021 there have been at least 13 times where a michigan customer paid an impersonator.
In the past we have seen that the scammers like to tell the customers to go get a prepaid debit card. They’ll even tell them where to go near their home sometimes.
Fortunately the Kleinhenz’s were able to get their bank to stop the transaction and changed their cards.
Consumers Energy says if you ever get a call that seems suspicious hang up and call the number on the top of your bill.
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