(WHTM) – Typically, utility companies issue multiple warnings about overdue bills before disabling services. However, scammers will try to convince you to pay.
Gas, electric and water utilities are more important than ever as Pennsylvania heads into winter.
Lisa Shook, manager of a home inspection company, received a call from someone claiming to be their electric company.
“He was in our driveway to cut services,” Shook said.
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The person on the phone said they had to pay immediately. “Yeah, it was $357 or they’d disconnect the power,” Shook added.
But it was all a scam. And like all good scams, the caller gives the impression of being urgent.
It’s not just your electrical service that’s affected.
Denise Banks is still paying her water bill, but she recently got a call saying she was about to be cut off!
“They knew my name, they said we were here to tell you about your disconnect notice. We have someone outside waiting to disconnect your water,” Banks said.
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The caller asked her to pay $235 through Zelle, so she gave him her bank details. Unfortunately, after a few seconds, “it automatically entered my personal verification and took all my money,” Banks said.
Energy company spokesman Lee Freedman said the utilities would never threaten an immediate disconnect.
“If you are at risk of losing service, you will receive multiple messages over a period of time. Invoices, notices, other mailings,” Freedman said.
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So, as winter approaches, it can be easy to get scared of going offline and fall victim to one of these scams.
Shook and Banks want to warn the others.
Look up their number, call them, and make sure you’re talking to your utility provider, so you don’t waste your money.