Thursday, April 24 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-04-24 19:47:30 GMT
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Better Business Bureaus all over the country are getting calls from consumers who have been threatened with cutoff of their electric service if they don't pay a phony caller. These crooks use high pressure to demand payments even though the customer may not owe anything.
There are a few ways to spot this scam and avoid becoming a victim. First, utility representatives should never ask customers to Western Union money for payment. If you are asked to provide credit card numbers or banking information over the phone, you should hang up, says Dick Eppstein of the Northwest Ohio Better Business Bureau.
Eppstein also advises consumers to never give out personal information like bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or Social Security number.
Consumers can find out the phone numbers of their utility in advance to verify such calls.
If you think it may be legitimate, insist on the address and phone number of the caller and promise to call back.
Most importantly, don't accept high pressure. If someone is threatening you, hang up, Eppstein says.