Do Energy Scams Exist?

Have you ever answered a mysterious phone call asking you to pay the electricity bill? If so, you are probably being scammed. These scammers will exploit you and scare you, and use every trick in the book to extract sensitive information.

Phone Call

Criminals discover any way they can to taake advantage of innocent customers. One of which is demanding they pay or their connection will be cut off. Such scams mostly happen with intimidating phone calls. When you decide to disconnect the call, they will try again and again, becoming more aggressive with each call.

These calls are scammers searching for your bank account information. They will insist you pay the electricity bill through an online portal. If you comply, you may face identity theft or a bank account hack where all your savings mysteriously disappear. The threats also become more aggressive. Whatever you do, do not cooperate.

A red flag on phone scammers is asking for payment through a foreign bank account or routing means. These payments can be the shape of gifts, money orders, or wire transfers too. If the scammers insist you pay in the next hour, which is also a huge red flag. Another reason to identify a scam is if they keep you occupied on the phone with deception.

Door to Door

Another form of scam you might face is the door-to-door scam. These people will impersonate utility provider employees and ask for your information. They will convince you with lower rates and a lower electricity or gas bill too. The criminals will usually work cunningly to build a rapport. 

Their means to plot is entirely different from the phone scammers since they are physically present. These scammers will inquire about your bank account information and social security number. Before you decide to share these sensitive numbers, call the official helpline of the utility provider and inquire more about the situation.

It is tough to differentiate between a legitimate employee and a scammer, especially in a physical situation. The scammers will try to keep your mind occupied, so the thought doesn’t even come to you until very late. 

Remember, legitimate employees will have a permit. Their ID card will mention the employee number and all relevant information. The legitimate employees will also never write credit card numbers and bank account details on paper. Another way to tell the difference is that legitimate employees wear printed and branded clothing with the company name. They have been specifically trained to use online portals.

At this time, you can ask for identification and proof. However, a smart scammer will have their basis covered. Therefore, end the conversation and walk inside to prevent the situation from worsening.

How to Stay Protected?

Simply knowing you are being scammed is the best protection in itself. Opus energy suggests you check for the identification or note down their employee number. You can also ask them more about the company. A legitimate company will be happy to share sensitive information because it is allowed to.

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Shaz Salimian
Freelance Videographer

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