NewsLocal News / October 3, 2013

State, Utilities Warn Customers About Scam

Jacie Shoaf - The StatehouseFile.com
State, Utilities Warn Customers About Scam

State and utility officials are warning Hoosiers about a scam.

Some Hoosiers have received calls from people who claim to be representing a utility company and threatening to turn off services without an immediate payment.

Indiana utilities companies want Hoosiers to know that the fraudulent calls are part of an ongoing scam.

“If someone calls you, claims to be from your utility, and demands immediate payment, hang up and do not give out any personal or financial information,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. “Then, call your utility at the customer service number that appears on your bill. The utility should be made aware of the contact and can verify your account status at any time.”

Indiana law requires electric and natural gas utilities under the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to provide customers with a written notice with at least 14 days’ warning before they turn off services. These utility companies include Citizens Gas, Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan Power, Indianapolis Power & Light, Northern Indiana Public Service Company and Vectren Energy Delivery.

Water utility companies under the IURC must provide customers with written notice at least seven days in advance. Exceptions include life-threatening situations, equipment tampering, and fraudulent use of service.

Local and rural utilities set up their own procedures. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor encourages Hoosiers to become familiar with their utilities’ rates and rules.

Jacie Shoaf is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.