Utility Company Scams

Utility Company Scams
A utility company scam works like this: Somebody calls you and states that they are from a utility company. Let's say for example, the power company. They threaten to turn off your power unless you pay your delinquent account immediately. This often effects businesses or restaurants who cannot afford to be without functional utilities. They will ask for immediate payment in the form of some gift card style currency. This would include a Green Dot Card.

Probably needless to say at this point, the caller is not from a utility company and has no ability to turn off your service. They are likely to be no where physically near the business and could be in another country. Gift cards can be loaded with value using the internet, and depleted just as quickly. Once the account is created by the victim, the victim would give the suspect the account access information. The suspect then quickly depletes the account, leaving the victim with nothing but a police report to file. There is often little or no traceable evidence ever left behind, but we still investigate this to make sure.

The solution is to recognize the thief and hang up on them. Utility companies will not collect payment in the form of an online or store-bought gift card. If you still have some doubts about who the caller is, be honest and tell them that you are not sure who they are and need to verify their identity. Ask for their name, address, callback phone number. Then call your utility company directly to verify the issue. Share the info with them.

Here's some info from Green Dot/ Money Pak's commercial site regarding the safe use of their accounts. We have no affiliation with this company.

What are Green Dot Cards?
Back to Scams Page
Back to Solon Police Main Page