Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane recently warned consumers about a scam involving people receiving phone calls purportedly from their electric utility company threatening the consumer with having their electrical service terminated for non-payment. The consumer is then told that the only way they can avoid having their electricity turned off is to send payment by way of a Green Dot Card. Green Dot Cards are prepaid debit cards that can be obtained in many places. Scammers use them frequently because unlike a check, payment cannot be stopped on a Green Dot Card and they are extremely difficult to trace. They are very much the equivalent to having money wired which is another favorite method that scammers like to use for their payments. Although this particular scam warning came from the Pennsylvania Attorney General, this scam is being done throughout the country.
Whenever you get a telephone call, you can never be sure who is actually calling you. Even your Caller ID can be fooled by clever scammers who can make it appear that the call is from a legitimate source. State regulations require you to receive written notice before a utility can be turned off and you will also receive information as to how to make arrangements for payments. If you do receive a call from any company that you do business with demanding payment, your best course of action is to hang up and call the business back at a number that you know is accurate to make arrangements for the payment of your bill.