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Consumers Energy sees resurgence of prepaid credit scam

• Feb 15, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Consumers Energy is again warning customers about a scam that includes a high-pressure demand for quick utility payments over the phone using a prepaid credit card.

In January, 230 potential scam complaints were reported to Consumers Energy, up from 210 in January 2016. This included more than 35 reported in the Grand Rapids area alone late in the month.

In January, $5,652 in payments were made to the scammers. From Feb. 1-10, there were an additional 107 reported complaints, resulting in $7,842 in payments to scammers.

Callers threaten to shut off service if immediate payments aren’t made on accounts using a Green Dot or other prepaid credit card.

Consumers Energy never demands payment using only a pre-paid credit card, and urges customers to never be coerced into paying an energy bill over the phone using a Green Dot card or other pre-paid credit card. In addition, customers should never give personal information or money over the phone to anyone they do not know.

Consumers Energy has a variety of payment options for customers, including:

• the ability to pay over a secure internet site,

• via U.S. mail,

• in person at an authorized pay agent location,

• and by Visa, MasterCard or an eCheck using an authorized Consumers Energy EasyPay agent.

Learn more about payment options at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/waystopay.

Business or residential customers who believe they may have been victims of this scam or who have related concerns should call Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.

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