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BBB New Scam Alert: Pay Up or Lights Out!

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Another scam warning coming from the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan.   This time its utilities allegedly calling businesses and demanding payment or they’ll shut off your power.

“We had a report of a business in Kalamazoo that was contacted by a representative from their energy company and they were told they missed payments and that technicians were literally headed to the business to turn off the power.”

John Masterson, Director of Marketing for the Better Business Bureau of Western Michigan says be on the lookout for yet another scam.  This time, he says, scammers are making calls like they did in Kalamazoo, threatening to pull the plug on your utilities unless you send money right away.

“So, this is particularly dangerous because that scammer managed to create fear in a ton of different ways, that you’ll lose money, get in trouble with your boss, the whole nine yards and that fear creates a sense of urgency that then, drives these victims to send their payments quickly and once it’s sent, that money is often gone for good.”

Masterson says credible reps will never try to intimidate or threaten, saying they’re coming to your place of business to shut you down.

“If you feel pressured, hang up and look for the actual phone number. That will ensure you’ve reached a real representative that can provide more information on your account.”

Other tips from the BBB include, not paying over the phone as well as not taking calls from unknown numbers.  If you have concerns or have been contacted by a potential scammer, Masterson says make sure you report the incident to scam tracker, which you can find at BBB.org.