Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an operating unit of American Electric Power, is joining forces with electric and gas utility companies across the United States and Canada to fight scams targeting customers.
November 16 has been designated as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.”
I&M warns customers about scammers who pose as utility employees and demand payment under the false threat of service disconnection. The criminals’ tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and tend to intensify during the holiday season.
Thieves typically attempt to steal money by phone or in person but be on the lookout for falsified mail and email as well.
What are the scammers doing?
· Threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made;
· Instructing customers to go to a certain store and purchase a prepaid card then call for further instructions;
· Telling customers they need a new electric meter but must make a payment before the new meter is installed;
· Offering a discount on their I&M bill if they sign up for auto-pay;
· Negotiating total bill amounts if an immediate payment is made;
· Demanding a deposit be paid immediately.
How can I&M customers protect themselves?
Know I&M will never:
· Disconnect service without prior warning;
· Accept payments in person or call and ask for credit/debit card information over the phone;
· Insist a payment be made with a prepaid credit card;
· Ask a customer to meet us in a parking lot, at a store or other location to make a payment.
If a customer suspects someone is trying to scam them, they should hang up and call the local police and then I&M at 1-800-311-4634. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.
For more information visit IndianaMichiganPower.com/StopScams.