Scams Targeting Businesses

Protecting Your Business from Scams and Scammers

In a new scam, con artists are using threats and urgency to steal thousands of dollars a year from business owners.

Here’s how:
  • Someone claiming to be a Consumers Energy worker contacts a business by phone
  • Scammer informs the business owner that he or she is late on an energy payment or past-due on a bill
  • The individual notifies the business owner that a Consumers Energy truck is on its way to shut off power within 24 hours if a payment isn’t made
  • Scammer then walks customer through an online money transfer or instructs them to go to their nearest convenience store to purchase a prepaid gift card or send money via wire transfer

How To Stop a Scam

The best way to protect your business from a utility scam is to know a little about how we operate. If someone calls your business using any of the tactics below, hang up and contact the police.

We never use threats. We will never threaten to shut your power off within 24 hours. If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and contact customer service.

We never make demands. We won’t demand payment over the phone. Instead, we offer many ways to make payments safely and conveniently.

We never ask for prepaid credit cards. If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid credit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. This is not a typical form of payment.

We never ask for personal information over the phone. We will not contact you by phone and ask for your account number or payment information. Sometimes con artists will attempt to trip you up by pretending to know your account number. We don’t do this either.

Spot the Scam

1. If I'm late on a bill, Consumers Energy will demand immediate payment over the phone.

  • True
  • False

2. If I don't pay my energy bill, my power could be shut off within 24 hours.

  • True
  • False

3. Consumers Energy employees will ask for my credit or debit card number over the phone.

  • True
  • False

4. If I'm falling behind on payments, I should send a wire transfer or gift card to make up the payment.

  • True
  • False

5. If my caller ID says Consumers Energy, I can feel confident sharing personal information, including my birthday, Social Security Number and banking information.

  • True
  • False