Utility scammers are becoming as aggressive as ever. From in-person to over the phone, these scammers have threatened thousands of people with shutting off service without immediate cash payments. As a rule of thumb, no Frontier Utilities employee will ever ask for cash or prepaid cards in exchange for service. Here are some quick ways to catch a scammer depending on their means of communication:
- In-person scammers can usually be a little more aggressive than those over the phone. Some will offer to restore power quickly after a storm by requesting a cash/prepaid card to pay for a “reconnection fee.”
- They will try to convince you to install or replace a meter by demanding a separate payment.
- They will request to inspect equipment or conduct an audit in order to get into your home.
How to Avoid In-Person Scams: First things first, always ask for a company photo ID. Once you get ahold of it, do your due diligence by calling your utility company to verify their information before letting them in. If you believe you’re in danger, immediately call 911.
OVER THE PHONE
- Any call from a person that demands immediate and large forms of payments to avoid service shut-off is a red flag for a scam. *Like many other electric/gas companies, Frontier will issue disconnection warning beforehand.
- Have you ever heard of “spoofing”? It’s a tactic that many scammers use by tricking your caller IDs into saying that you’re getting a call from a legitimate company.
- They may also call to say you overpaid a bill and they need your bank account or credit card number in order to issue a refund. Legitimate companies would credit overpayments against your account or mail a check.
How to Avoid Over the Phone Scams: Don’t let your caller ID fool you. If you believe you’re on the phone with a scammer, hang up and call the phone on your utility bill if you have questions. The best rule of thumb is to never provide payment or personal information to a caller you don’t know.
- Online scammers can be a little savvier than the others. They’ll go as far as re-creating email signatures, email designs by using the company’s logo and color schemes. Don’t be fooled by how “official” these emails may look and pay attention to the actual content of the email.
How to Avoid Email Scams: Always check the address that the email is coming from. If you see any odd characters (numbers replacing letters, additional periods or hyphens) don’t click on any of the links or attachments.
*= Please note that Frontier Utilities does not issue disconnect notices to Northeast customers. These will come from your utility.