Consumer's Energy Warns of Phone Scams to Customers
In recent years, we've seen more attempts by criminals pretending to be from Consumers Energy trying to scam businesses and people out of money. More than 1,000 energy scam attempts this year have led to $81,000 in losses.
Don’t Lose Money to Scammers: Know the Signs
Typically, a caller will contact a small business, such as a store or a restaurant; pretend to be from Consumers Energy; and demand payment within an hour or two using a prepaid credit or debit card. The scam has been reported in 57 counties.
We're working with law enforcement to protect our customers. Your best defense is to be aware, and avoid becoming a victim.
7 Common Items in Scams
1. A phone call demanding payment within a short time frame.
2. Threaten service will be shut off if payment is not made.
3. Insist on a specific form of payment, like a pre-paid credit card from a convenience store.
4. May seek personal or account information.
5. May have an account number or what sounds like the proper bill amount.
6. May "spoof" your phone, making it appear as if the call comes from Consumers Energy.
7. May provide an 800 or 888 number to call that is not ours.
What You Should Know
• Do not pay over the phone using a pre-paid credit card.
• Do not give personal information or money over the phone to anyone you do not know.
• If you receive a call and believe it may be a scam, call us immediately at 800-477-5050.
Energy Scam Payments
Michigan counties with the most reports this year of phone scammers pretending to be from Consumers Energy:
• GENESEE – 149 calls, $15,883 paid
• KENT – 124 calls, $7,061 paid
• KALAMAZOO – 94 calls, $16,228 paid
• INGHAM – 76 calls, $9,161 paid
• JACKSON – 50 calls, $1,239 paid
• SAGINAW – 45 calls, $3,900 paid
• OTTAWA – 37 calls, $460 paid
• LENAWEE – 34 calls, $2,007 paid
• ALLEGAN – 33 calls, $1,750 paid
• BAY – 32 calls, $3,364 paid
Did You Know?
• Consumers Energy employees and authorized contractors wear ID badges.
• We offer many ways to pay – by mail, in person or over a secure Internet site. Learn more at ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay.
• We won't request personal information or insist on payment in less than 24 hours.
• We never demand payment using only a pre-paid credit card.
Source: Consumers Energy One Energy Plaza Jackson, MI 49201