CHARLESTON, WV – During National Utility Scam Awareness Week, November 17-23, the Public Service Commission of West Virginia cautions consumers about the ongoing threat of utility scams. PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane said, “Utility scams can cost you more than just money – they may also open the door to identity theft.
Throughout the U.S. and Canada, utility scams continue to escalate and become more sophisticated. Last year, Utilities United Against Scams, a consortium of 125 North American utilities and their respective trade unions, shut down more than 2,000 toll free numbers used by scammers to target utility customers.
The Public Service Commission offers these tips:
- If you get a suspicious call, hang up at once, then call your utility company using the number on your utility bill. Do not use a call back number provided by the scammer. Never give your bank or personal information over the phone.
- Never allow a stranger into your home. Utility employees always carry proper identification, and they will never ask you for cash. If you are unsure, call your utility company using the number on your utility bill to verify their identity and why they are supposed to be at your home.
- Utility companies will not ask for payment via gift cards, pre-paid cards, or crypto currency. And never wire money to someone you don’t know.
- Delete suspicious emails. Never click on links or call phone numbers in these emails.
If you believe you have been targeted by a utility scam, contact local law enforcement or the PSC’s Consumer Affairs Technicians at 1-800-642-8544.