Utility reports widespread phone payment scam

CMS Energy Corp. is warning its customers about a scam in which people pretending to represent the power company call customers and demand that they quickly pay bills over the phone.
AP Wire
Jan 15, 2014

The Jackson-based company's Consumers Energy unit said there have been 118 reported cases of the fraud attempt using a Green Dot prepaid card since Nov. 22.

In a typical case, the English or Spanish speaker demands payment for a Consumers Energy bill within an hour, telling the customer to purchase a Green Dot card available at drug and food stores.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Department reports a similar fraud scheme involving federal taxes. Undersheriff Mike McCabe said someone pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service conned a Farmington Hills resident into paying $3,854 on a Green Dot card.

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