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.”