The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is warning the public about scam artists once again preying on West Virginia utility customers. Callers claiming to be from the utility company are threatening to shut off the customer’s service unless payment is provided immediately through prepaid debit cards, such as Vanilla or Green Dot.
This scam is similar to those of the past, but with a new tactic. The scammers now give their victims a toll-free callback number that appears to be valid. If the consumer calls the number, they hear a convincing recording that may lead them to believe they have reached the company, but they haven’t.
The Public Service Commission is reminding West Virginians to be vigilant, use common sense if contacted about utility payments and keep the following in mind:
· If you are unsure about the caller, hang up and call the utility company back using the phone number on your bill.
· Utility company representatives calling about a delinquent bill would not specify a method of payment.
· Never give out personal or financial information to someone who has called you. This would include your Social Security Number, credit, debit, checking, savings or ATM account information.
· Anyone who receives a billing call should try to verify the identity of the caller and report to police calls that seem similar to the scam.
For information on authorized payment locations, contact your utility company.