When Mary Nowak received a strange call Tuesday afternoon she knew right away something was not right.
“I got a call at work from someone claiming to be from DTE and that my account was in the arrears and he was from collections and asked me if I had changed anything on my bank account, because the numbers weren’t matching up,” said Nowak. “So I looked to see if there was a number and there wasn’t one. It just said unavailable.”
According to DTE Energy, there two types of scams emerging again - one where someone shows up at your house claiming to work for the company. Once they get in your home, they steal your valuables.
“So they are physically going to a house and that’s why we insist, we’re pleading with customers that, if they have any doubt that the is legit or not, that they ask for identification before they let someone into their house,” said DTE Security Director Michael Lynch.
When Nowak realized she was talking to a swindler, she hung up the phone and called DTE right away.
Lynch told 7 Action News Nowak did the right thing.
“We don’t require a specific kind of payment,” said Lynch. “We take credit cards, debit cards. Any number of forms of payment. Especially a prepaid debit card. We would never ask for a prepaid debit car.”
Lynch adds there are apps where callers can change what number appears on people’s caller IDs – and where they say the call is coming from.
“You cannot rely on caller ID because it can easily be spoofed, it can be changed to look like it’s coming from DTE Energy,” said Lynch.
Nowak wants what happened to her to serve as a warning.
From its website, DTE advises customers if something like this happens to you, pull out your most recent DTE Energy bill and ask the caller to tell you the account number and the amount due.
The company also advises if you suspect the call may be fraudulent, hang up and call them toll-free at 800-477-4747. Ask to be connected to a customer service representative who can confirm the status of your account and make appropriate arrangements for payment, if needed.