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DTE warns customers about phone scam targeting Detroit Hispanic community

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Posted at 10:44 AM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 10:44:37-04

(WXYZ) — DTE is warning customer about a new phone scam.

The company says thieves are putting fake numbers on people's caller ID systems. When you call back the bonus number, you get a recording similar to DTE's customer service line.

In recent incidents, the company says it has received reports of scammers calling customers demanding an immediate payment or else power would be shut off. In the past, scammers have also demanded payment via Green Dot debit card, Western Union wire transfer and/or cash.

DTE says the scam is specifically targeting the Hispanic community in Detroit.

The company wants to remind customers of ways to protect themselves and businesses from scammers.

  • Someone asks for your DTE account number

DTE Energy DOES NOT ask customers to provide their account numbers. Customers will be asked to validate account information such as the billing zip code, or last four digits of their Social Security number prior to discussing account details to protect our customers’ private information. DTE Energy DOES NOT call for payment if the account is in good standing. If a customer is behind on payments, DTE will mail a warning notice, providing the steps to restore the account to good standing and continue service.

  • Bullying

Alarm bells should ring when someone calls and says a crew is on the way to shut off service unless there’s an immediate payment. The more aggressive the caller, the more skeptical customers should be.

  • Demanding a specific form of payment

DTE does not demand a specific form of payment. In fact, it provides a variety of payment options, including credit cards, debit cards, bank/ACH transfers and more. If a caller insists on payment via a prepaid debit card — especially a specific brand of prepaid card — it is a scam.