Consumers Energy scammers are back, Mich. Attorney General warns
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In April, News 10 told you about scammers posing as Consumers Energy representatives to trick people into handing over their money. Now, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is reissuing a Consumer Alert, as scammers are once again impersonating Consumers Energy to target Michiganders.
Nessel’s office said several Michiganders have complained of someone cold-calling customers and threatening to shut off their power if the person doesn’t pay off a balance within 30 minutes. However, this is a utility imposter scam that attempts to rush the customer so that they don’t have time to think before giving the scammer their money.
If the story sounds familiar, that’s because it is. A similar scam targeted DTE Energy customers late last year, and Consumers Energy customers earlier this year. It’s a variation on the classic scammer’s tactic of convincing the target that they are in some sort of trouble and must pay to get out.
“This is important enough to bear repeating: It is imperative people are aware that bad actors will stop at nothing to scam unsuspecting customers,” said Nessel. “If this Consumer Alert prevents even one Michigander from turning over personal information or money, it will have served its purpose of beating scammers at their own game.”
AG Nessel and the state’s various utility companies will continue to do what they can to stop the scams, but the most effective step that can be taken is for customers to know their tricks. Utility companies will never cold-call you and give an ultimatum that your service will be shut off shortly unless you act, visit your home to collect a bill or threaten shutoff, request immediate payment through a prepaid debit card or any form of unusual payment. They don’t request personal or financial information such as a Social Security number. Nor will they claim a customer is entitled to a refund or rebate by asking for bank account or credit card information to make the alleged refund.
If you suspect you have been contacted by an imposter, you may file a complaint online with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team or call 877-765-8388.
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