The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) is warning utility customers to beware of a payment scam that has surfaced across the state over the past several weeks.
The scam targets electric and natural gas utility customers, for the most part, including both residential and small businesses. A caller claiming to represent the utility informs the customer that they owe money from their past bill and must pay immediately or face termination of service. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-paid debit card and then call a toll free number to transfer the money.
Most utilities do not ask for pre-paid debit cards for payment and provide ample time for customers to make a payment before service is terminated. Customers having questions about their account should call the appropriate utility.
A listing of PUCO regulated utility company customer service numbers can be found on their web site. Customers believing they have been a victim of payment fraud are encouraged to contact their local authorities as well.