JACKSON, Mich., Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers Energy is warning the public about a phone scam that demands customers quickly pay for utility payments over the phone using a Green Dot prepaid credit card.
Reports of this scam have come from customers in Genesee County as well as the Grand Rapids area from callers claiming to represent Consumers Energy.
A typical scenario involves the caller, who can speak in English and Spanish, demanding payment for a Consumers Energy bill within an hour, and telling the customer to purchase a Green Dot prepaid credit card available at drug and food stores. Customers are then directed to call an 866 toll-free phone number to pay the utility bill with these cards.Residential or business customers who believe they may have been victims of this scam or who have related concerns should call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050. "Consumers Energy never demands payment using only a Green Dot card. Customers who are bullied into paying by these imposters will lose their money. We urge customers to be alert to this scam, and never pay over the phone using a Green Dot card. Customers should never give money or personal information over the phone to anyone they do not know," said Michael Williams, Consumers Energy's director of corporate security. Consumers Energy has a variety of payment options available for customers, including the ability to pay over a secure Internet site, via U.S. mail, in person at an authorized pay agent location, and by Visa, MasterCard or an eCheck using an authorized Consumers Energy EasyPay agent. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay Tips on avoiding utility fraud are available on the Michigan Public Service Commission's web site: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/mpsc-ca_utilityservicefraud_211946_7.pdf Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties. For more information regarding Consumers Energy, visit us at: www.ConsumersEnergy.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/consumersenergymichigan