Southern Company Gas Provides Ways for Customers to Protect Themselves during Utility Scam Awareness Week
Friday, November 22nd, 2019
We hold ourselves accountable to the customers and communities we serve first and foremost. That's why Southern Company Gas is joining more than 130 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities to protect customers against potential scams.
The Utilities United Against Scams consortium has designated Nov. 17-23 as Utility Scam Awareness Week. The weeklong campaign is designed to expose the tactics scammers use to steal money from customers and provide advice on how they can protect themselves.
Although there are several scam tactics, one of the most common involves unsolicited phone calls to customers by an individual who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer warns that the utility will disconnect the customer's natural gas service if a payment is not made within a short timeframe.
Other common tactics Utilities United Against Scams warns against:
Door Knocking Imposter – Door-to-door imposters pose as utility workers to gain entry or access into unsuspecting victims' homes.
Overpayment Tactic – Scammers call claiming you have overpaid your utility bill and you need to provide personal bank account information or a credit card number to facilitate a refund.
Power Restoration Charge – Scammers call offering to restore power more quickly for a fee in the aftermath of severe weather that may have caused widespread power outages.
Vacate Your Home – Scammers claim there is a need to replace metering or other equipment and you must leave your home for 72 hours.
Facebook Charity Scam – Social media posts are telling customers that a charity will pay for their utility bills if the customer first makes a partial payment by money transfer. This new scam is still under investigation by authorities, and it is unclear if the scammers are seeking money, personally identifiable information, or both.
Customers who suspect or experience fraud or feel threatened during contact with an individual posing as a company representative, should contact local authorities, and then the customer care center phone number listed on their local utility bill.