JACKSON, Mich., Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is again alerting the public that a scam demanding people quickly pay bills over the telephone using a Green Dot prepaid credit card continues in Michigan.
Reports of this scam have come from Consumers Energy customers across the state, but are most common in Kent, Genesee and Ingham counties. Since Nov. 22, people have reported 118 incidents in which callers have falsely claimed to represent Consumers Energy. In Kent County, 37 reports of impersonations have been recorded; 12 in Genesee County, and 10 in Ingham County.
A typical scenario involves the caller, who can speak English and Spanish, demanding payment for a Consumers Energy bill within an hour, and telling the customer to purchase a Green Dot prepaid credit card available at drug and food stores. People are then directed to call an 866 toll-free phone number to pay their bill with these cards.
Residential or business customers who believe they may have been victims of this scam or who have related concerns should call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
"We are cautioning the public to be on guard and alert about this scam. Our customers should know that Consumers Energy never demands payment over the phone using only a Green Dot card. Customers should never give money or personal information over the phone to anyone they don't know. We encourage customers to share information about this scam with friends, family and neighbors so we can prevent additional victims," said Michael Williams, Consumers Energy's director of corporate security.
Consumers Energy has a variety of payment options available for customers, including the ability to pay over a secure Internet site, via U.S. mail, in person at an authorized pay agent location, and by Visa, MasterCard or an eCheck using an authorized Consumers Energy EasyPay agent. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay.
Tips on avoiding utility fraud are available on the Michigan Public Service Commission's website: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/mpsc-ca_utilityservicefraud_211946_7.pdf
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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