Scammer targeting DTE Energy customers asking for money to keep service from being cut

Posted at 11:23 PM, Sep 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-08 06:55:48-04

DTE Energy is warning customers about a scammer targeting businesses and restaurants, threatening to shut off power.

The scams are becoming more prevalent and DTE Energy wants all customers to be on alert.

"We've had hundreds of these kinds of calls over the past 12 months, with customers being relieved of tens of thousands of dollars in the past,” said Michael Lynch, DTE Energy Corporate Security Director.

The scam goes down like this: The phone rings, it appears DTE Energy is on the caller ID and the scammer threatens the customer.

"Typically these are businesses they threaten to shut off the power within an hour unless they pay the bill,” said Lynch.

The scammer is usually asking for a prepaid debit or credit card.

DTE Energy wants customers to be alert. Don’t rush out to pay a bill just because of a threat.  Ask for identification or customer service, or simply hang up and call DTE to ask for account status.

The caller ID might look real, but it’s not.

"They're using voice over ID which allows them to spoof caller ID and makes it look like a legitimate call even though it isn’t,” said Lynch.

During Wednesday’s scam call, thankfully the scammer didn’t win.

"The one today, the customer got suspicious because they heard children in the background and rightfully hung up and decided to call DTE and found out it was a scam,” said Lynch.

If you think you have questions call DTE Energy 1-800-477-4747.