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Consumers Energy and BBB Serving Western Michigan warning customers of utility phone scam

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The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is warning businesses and the public of a utilities scam.

The scam begins with a phone call to a business or customer from someone claiming to be with Consumers Energy. The script is simple, there’s an overdue bill. If it’s not paid immediately, the power will be shut off. The payment should be made by either wire transfer or a prepaid card.

Consumers Energy has seen an uptick in this deceptive tactic over the past two months with 12 victims in Kent County, seven in Allegan and five in Kalamazoo County. For the year, so far, 76 people have been scammed. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan says in 2019 the con artists have collected over $52,000.

Christopher Bush, Consumers Energy’s director of corporate security. “If you receive a scam call or are unsure if the call is legitimate, hang up and call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050 and contact your local law enforcement agency.”

Patrick Center, WGVU News.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.