FORT WAYNE — Scammers impersonating Indiana Michigan Power representatives are targeting utility customers, the company said.

The scams are not unique to I&M — they have been reported across the nation, targeting customers of various utility companies, the electric utility said.

Though the scams can vary, I&M said they generally work like this:

• Customers receive calls from callers falsely identifying themselves as I&M employees.

• The caller claims the customer is late paying their bill, and their power will be disconnected soon — perhaps later that day — if the customer does not pay the bill immediately.

• Many scammers “spoof” the telephone number they are calling from to make it appear as a different number. In some cases, it may appear to be an authentic I&M phone number.

• Customers usually are instructed to call a different number to arrange payment.

• The scammers may seek personal credit card or banking information from customers. Some instruct customers to buy a debit card and provide the debit card number.

• “Our customers should know that I&M employees never call customers demanding immediate payment. Nor does I&M disconnect service without prior written warning. Anyone receiving such calls should hang up and call I&M’s Customer Operations Center at (800) 311-4634 to report the scam,” the utility said. “Customers can learn the status of their bill by calling the Customer Operations Center or by using I&M’s mobile application, available for download from iTunes for Apple devices or Google for Android devices.”

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