The alert by a DTE vice president is emailed Thursdsay to the utility's customers.
By Angie Pizzuti
DTE Energy has been hearing heartbreaking reports of scammers taking advantage of our customers. New technology has enhanced con artists' believability through lookalike phone numbers and emails, allowing them to disguise themselves and falsely impersonate a person or company. Anyone can fall victim.
Awareness is the best form of defense against a scam. It is important for you to know the red flags and what to do when faced with a potential scam. Here's what to look out for when someone is posing as a DTE Energy employee:
♦ Threatening immediate power shutoff: Scammers threaten energy customers with shutoffs to scare them into rash decisions. We will never impose an unrealistic deadline for payment or threaten to disconnect power within hours. Also, DTE always try to work with customers to keep your service on.
♦ Demanding a specific form of payment: DTE provides a variety of payment options, but we never demand a specific type. Scammers will often request payments through unusual forms, such as cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, money-transfer apps like Zelle, prepaid debit cards like Green Dot, or Western Union wire transfers.
♦ Unexpected home visits: DTE will make every attempt to contact a customer before visit. DTE will never collect payment for utilities at your home or business. Be sure to ask for a personal identification badge.
♦ Collecting payment at a home or business: DTE never requires in-person payment for our utilities.
♦ Asking for Social Security numbers, bank account number or credit card information.
I encourage DTE customers to listen to their gut when it comes to potential scams.
If you are unsure of a potential DTE representative, call our customer service line at (800) 477-4747. If payment is truly required on your account, a customer service representative can make appropriate arrangements.
Customers can also challenge a caller by asking for confidential information that only DTE and the customer would know, such as the account number.
Scams are on the rise across the country, and I want our customers to stand strong against these con artists. Always trust your instincts when it comes to your finances.