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Michigan AG warns of DTE Energy imposter scam warning of power shutoffs

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Posted at 11:53 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 12:30:44-05

(WXYZ) — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a consumer alert about a recent imposter scam related to DTE Energy.

DTE reported that calls were being made to customers by someone claiming to be a DTE employee and saying they were going to have their power shut off.

The scammer than requested payment by bitcoin or a preloaded money card to avoid a shutoff.

When a return call was made to the number, the customer was greeted by a spoof of a DTE employee who would appear to help the customer avoid a shutoff, and asking for personal information.

"Some bad actors are using the ongoing pandemic to their full advantage to scam Michigan residents,” Nessel said. “It’s important to remember that utility companies will never call, email, or show up unannounced to demand payment or threaten shutoff. Don’t give in to the bullying or threats of a scammer – call your utility company directly from a phone number available on their website or listed on your utility bill.”

DTE Energy and other utility companies will never:

  • Solicit personal information for a government program that claims to reduce energy bills.
  • Visit your home to collect a bill or threaten shutoff.
  • Show up unannounced at a customer’s home to inspect or repair equipment, investigate a leak or do a free audit for energy efficiency.
  • Request immediate payment, instructing customer to purchase a prepaid debit card, or any form of unusual payment.
  • Request personal or financial information, such as Social Security number, utility account number or payment information.
  • Claim a customer is entitled to a refund or rebate asking for bank account or credit card information to make the alleged refund.
  • Use aggressive tactics to get into a customer’s home.

If you believe you have been contacted by an imposter, call 800-477-4747, and you can file a complaint online with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team.