Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) issued a warning to its customers this week to beware of scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to an I&M press release, scams have been reported across the U.S. targeting utility customers and companies, including I&M.
I&M said the scams can vary, but often follow this pattern:
“Customers receive calls from scammers falsely identifying themselves as I&M employees.
The caller claims the customer is late paying their bill, and their power will be disconnected if the customer does not pay immediately.
Many scammers “spoof” the telephone number to appear as a different number. In some cases, it may appear to be an authentic I&M phone number.
Customers are usually instructed to call a different number to arrange payment.
The scammers may seek account information or personal credit card and banking information from customers. Some direct customers to buy a debit card and provide the debit card number.”
I&M stated during the coronavirus pandemic it has suspended disconnections for non-payment, although customers are still responsible to pay their bills and are expected to continue paying for usage.
“Regardless of the situation, I&M employees NEVER call customers demanding immediate payment,” the release states. “Nor does I&M disconnect service without prior written warning. Anyone receiving such calls should hang up and call I&M’s Customer Operations Center at 800-311-4634 to report the scam.”