FirstEnergy recently updated their information regarding a known scam in which a caller or visitor contacts or visits a customer and demands immediate payment. The scam is still very much active throughout FirstEnergy regions in Ohio. For years, customers have been targeted by callers claiming to be the utility company. They threaten to shut off the customers’ power if they do not receive immediate payment in the form of a prepaid credit card or money transfer. These callers typically target small businesses, where they are likely to get the owner on the phone, and will often call during a busy time of day to add additional pressure.
FirstEnergy’s Known Scams web page gives the following facts to help you identify if you are being targeted:
- If your account is past due, you will receive a written notice of your account status, with instructions on how to avoid disconnection of service.
- While a FirstEnergy representative may call a customer whose bill is in arrears in order to remind them that a payment is due, the representative would explain how a payment can be made using the established payment options. They will not demand payment over the phone, in person, or at a particular physical location.
- FirstEnergy does not accept prepaid debit cards or wire transfers as payment, and their representatives will not demand your bank information or credit card number over the phone.
If you find yourself in a situation like this and you are unsure what to do, read this article for tips on how to help protect yourself and your business.