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Greenwood police warn of utility scams

Posted at 5:34 PM, Nov 23, 2017

GREENWOOD, Ind. -- Greenwood police has warned the community about a popular scam going around the city.

They said scammers are calling people and pretending to be a representative from Duke Energy.

The caller states the homeowner owes an amount of money and they have to pay it within 45 minutes to avoid shut off.

The caller asks to pay using visa gift cards.

This is a scam, police said, and not a person from Duke Energy.

Greenwood isn't the only community being targeted by utility scams as the months get colder, the Better Business Bureau reports the "Utility Impostor Scam" has been circulating for some time now.

"In this con, scammers impersonate water, electric and gas company representatives. They frequently threaten residents, owners and businesses with deactivation services, unless they pay up immediately," states the BBB website.

The BBB reports this scam is most common in summer and winter months when people are more likely to use their heat or air conditioning.

Scammers use a variety of topics to persuade the caller - often saying a representative will show up at your home or business that day to shut off services. 

But there are ways to spot the scam.

Prepaid cards or wire transfers are big red flags. Your actual utility company will accept a check or credit card, not wire transfers, prepaid cards or gift cards.

You can always hang up and find your bill, call your actual utility company to verify the call. They can assure you if it is a fake, as they already have your account information.

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