NEWS AND TRIBUNE
Vectren is warning customers of a multistate bill payment scam that is resurfacing this summer in scattered locations throughout the U.S. As part of the scam, customers receive an unsolicited phone call from a fraudulent individual claiming to be a representative for the utility company, according to a news release from Vectren. The individual warns that the utility will disconnect the customer’s energy service if the customer fails to make an immediate payment — usually within an hour.
Customers are instructed to purchase a prepaid debit card — at times referring to a “Green Dot” credit card — from a local store and call the fraudulent individual back to supposedly make a payment to the utility company. Upon calling back, the customer is asked to provide the receipt number and PIN number from the prepaid debit card, giving the individual instant access to the card’s funds and the ability to immediately drain its balance.
“Vectren would never require a customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card in order to make a payment of any type,” said Doug Petitt, Vectren’s chief information officer and vice president of information technology and customer service. “We’re urging any customer who is approached in this fashion to contact us immediately to verify the legitimacy of the request and discuss his/her account status.”
Use Vectren.com’s live chat option or call 800-227-1376 to reach Vectren’s contact center, which is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Customers can also report the scam at the Better Business Bureau website, www.bbb.org/scam.