State PSC warns of utility scams

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WDTV) -- The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is warning utility customers that scams have been reported around the state.

The commission is offering the following tips to avoid falling victim to a utility scam:

-If someone comes to your door claiming to represent a utility company, ask to see their identification. If you're not sure that someone at your door is legitimate, do not let them into your home. Call the utility company's number (on the bottom of your bill or on their official website) to verify that they sent someone to your home or business.

-Scammers can now use caller ID spoofing to make a call look like it is coming from a utility company. As soon as a call seems suspicious, hang up.

-One scam involves sending an email demanding immediate payment online or by a prepaid money order, a prepaid debit card, or a wire transfer. The email may even have a link that appears to lead to the utility company's website. If you receive one of these emails, do not click on any link and immediately delete the email. You can use the information at the bottom of your bill to contact the utility company.

The PSC says that if your bill is overdue, utilities will send written notice. If a representative calls you, they will explain how you can maje the payment, and will never ask for bank or credit card information. They also will not ask you to buy a debit card or make a wire transfer.

If you believe that you have been scammed, officials say to contact your local law enforcement or the Commission’s Consumer Affairs Technicians at 1-800-642-8544.