Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beware of Scammers Posing as Utility Employees

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Beware of Scammers Posing as Utility Employees

Article excerpt

The chill in the air at this time of year brings out more than just jackets and gloves.

The Federal Communications Commission is warning consumers to be on alert for calls from crooks posing as utility company employees telling people their heat will be shut off unless they immediately pay off their balance.

While the pitch can be convincing, don't fall for it, the agency says.

Scammers may use software that spoofs a utility company's number on caller ID, making it look like the call is coming from a legitimate source. They also may use automated interactive voice response calling systems that mimic legitimate providers' calls.

One tip-off to the scam is the caller demanding immediate payment via prepaid debit card, credit card or gift card.

Consumers receiving such a call should hang up, get their utility company's phone number from a recent statement or legitimate website, and verify any balance owed, the agency said. …

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