Vectren Reminding Customers Not to Fall for COVID-19 Phone Scam
There are all types of bad people in this world. For example, there are those who play off the fears of something like the COVID-19 pandemic to try and take money that isn't theirs. Your money specifically.
Vectren tweeted a reminder Tuesday morning warning customers about a phone scam that's been reported in the area since the pandemic, and subsequent shutdown of businesses, began in the area back in late March. While they don't go into great detail about the workings of the scam, it doesn't take an expert detective to figure out what happens.
My guess is, based off the information provided in the tweet, this the common type of phone scam Bankrate.com appropriately calls "Utility fraud" which preys on customers who are behind on their payments. In this case, customers who lost income because their work hours were cut short, or they were furloughed from their job due to the pandemic.
This scam involves a call from someone claiming to be a Vectren representative (or another utility company) threatening to cut your power that day if you don't pay your bill immediately through the use of a prepaid card purchased from a local store. The idea being you buy the card, load it with whatever amount of money they claim you owe, then give them the number on the back and they use that number to pocket the cash.
As scams like this one and others have become more prevalent over the years, many of us have learned how to tell what's real and what isn't. Or, if you're like me, you only answer calls from your contact list which helps weed out things like this. However, elderly relatives or neighbors may be a bit more trusting and therefore willing to follow through on the instructions, so make sure you check with any you know and give them a heads up about this.
As Vectren notes in the tweet above, they will "never demand immediate payment," nor will they ask you to pay with a prepaid card. If you do have issues paying your bill due to the pandemic, or for any other reason, call them directly at the number they give (1-800-227-1376) to speak with an actual representative who will walk you through the assistance options they have.
[Source: Vectren Indiana on Twitter]