Video: What is a Utility Scam

Many basic necessities rely on utilities we take for granted, making them the perfect subject for a scammer to exploit.

Utility scams occur when a scammer pretends to be a representative from your utility company and tricks you into sending money or revealing sensitive information.

These scams involve a variety of scenarios that can happen through email, over the phone, via text message, or even in person.

In some cases, the scammer may report an overpayment on service and ask for your financial or utility account information to allegedly issue a refund. Most commonly, however, utility scams include an urgent notice threatening to cancel service due to missed payment, often during periods of peak energy usage. The scammer lies that they need immediate payment through Zelle or another direct payment method to keep your utilities running. In reality, most utility companies send multiple notifications before cancelling service.

Remember to slow down and ask questions.

Request an employee identification number or the date and amount of your most recent payment. If you detect suspicious activity, contact your utility company directly at the number listed on your monthly statement, in your utility company’s app, or on the company’s official website.