The Public Service Commission is once again warning customers about scam phone calls being made to West Virginians from people claiming to represent utility companies.
The callers threaten to shut off utility service unless a delinquent bill is paid within a matter of hours. The callers then request the customer’s credit card and Social Security numbers so payment may be made over the phone. Elderly people and businesses are often targeted in this type of activity. The Commission is concerned that in the midst of the busy holiday season, people who would normally question such a call might be more easily convinced that they forgot to pay a bill. This is precisely why the scammers choose this time of year to actively prey upon the people who are most vulnerable.
The Public Service Commission is reminding West Virginians to be vigilant, use common sense if contacted about utility payments and keep the following in mind:
• Utility company representatives calling about a delinquent bill would not specify a method of payment.
• Customers should only use methods authorized by the utility company to pay bills.
• Anyone who receives a billing call should try to verify the identity of the caller and report to police calls that seem similar to the scam.
For more information on authorized payment locations, contact your utility company.