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As of: 8:26 AM, 1/22/20

Avoiding Scams

Scammers are conning homeowners out of thousands of dollars. Find out how to protect your family.

Outsmart Scammers by Learning to Recognize Scams

Con artists have long preyed on utility customers by pretending to be a Consumers Energy employee in person and on the phone. They use scare tactics, threats and urgency to gain entry into your home, or trick you into surrendering credit card information, money orders, gift cards or cash.

Here’s how to spot a fake Consumers Energy worker asking to be let in to your home:

  • Ask to see their company identification badge. Real contractors or employees of Consumers Energy always wear one, and will gladly show it to you on request.
  • Remember, we always provide advance notice if we need to get into your home. We never show up unannounced.
  • We will never use scare tactics or threaten to shut off your service if you don’t let us into your home.
  • If you believe a scammer is trying to get into your home, lock all your doors and immediately call 911 and report it to the police.

Keep in mind that there are times when we have to shut off electric or natural gas service for safety, security or non-payment. But we will never threaten to shut off service if you don’t comply with immediate demands.

In a phone con, scammers impersonate Consumers Energy workers and contact homeowners in an effort to get some fast cash. They’ll:

  • Claim that you’re late on an energy payment or past-due on a bill.
  • Tell you a Consumers Energy truck is on its way to shut off power within 24 hours if a payment isn’t made.
  • Walk you through an online money transfer or instruct them to go to their nearest convenience store to purchase a prepaid gift card or send money via wire transfer.

Put your knowledge to the test. Find out if you’re at risk to be scammed by taking the quiz below.

How to Spot a 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

Spot the Scam

Scammers assume you don’t know how we work with our customers, especially when it comes to billing. This knowledge can keep your family safe from scams.

We never show up unannounced. We won’t just show up at your door. You’ll know we’re coming, because we will reach out to you in advance.

We never use threats. We will never threaten to shut your power off within 24 hours. If you feel pressured to let someone in your home, close and lock your doors and call 911 to report it to the police. If someone calls you and pressures you 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.

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