DTE Energy: Tips for Avoiding Utility Fraud

DTE Energy
generic DTE Energy 2017 AP file_1546201619016

DTE Energy is shown in Detroit, Thursday, May 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Unfortunately, both residential and business customers are occasionally targeted by scam artists. Michigan laws help protect DTE Energy customers against scam artists by making it a felony to impersonate utility workers. Protect yourself and your family from becoming victims by following the tips below.

Beware of Utility Impostors

Do not allow people into your home who:

  • Do not provide proper identification. We encourage you to ask for identification. All DTE Electric and DTE Gas employees and contractors carry photo identification badges, and are required to display their badge if asked.
  • If you are unsure about an employee’s identification, or want to verify the nature of the work to be done at your home, call us at 800.477.4747.
  • Claim to offer a DTE Electric or DTE Gas refund. Our employees never deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers’ homes.
  • Attempt to collect a bill payment. We do not collect or accept utility bill payments at customers’ homes or businesses.
  • Ask you to pay for tree-trimming work by individuals claiming to be from DTE Electric or a DTE Gas contractor. We do not charge for line clearance work.

On the Phone:

  • We encourage you to ask for identification. If you suspect the call may be fraudulent, hang up and call us. Ask to be connected to a customer service representative who can confirm the status of your account and make appropriate arrangements for payment, if needed.
  • If the caller demands an immediate payment, they are an impostor. If the caller demands you obtain a pre-paid debit card, they are an impostor. Hang up and report the incident to local police or DTE Energy immediately.

On the Internet:

  • The internet is increasingly being used to commit fraud and identity theft. Scammers use e-mail, text messaging and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
  • Never give out personal information, including Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers over the Internet to someone you do not know.
  • If you believe you are the victim of an online scam, contact your local police immediately.

Be aware that DTE Energy does not:

  • Endorse or require a pre-paid debit card for payment
  • Impose unrealistic deadlines for payment nor threaten to shut-off power within a period of hours.
  • Collect payment at customers’ homes or businesses.
  • Ask for Social Security numbers, bank account or credit card information by phone.

Call DTE Energy Before You Pay

These scam artists typically target small and medium-sized businesses, such as restaurants. Once the customer provides the debit card number, funds are transferred to an untraceable account.

Customers uncertain about a caller claiming to be from DTE Energy should call 800.477.4747 to confirm the status of their account. Anyone suspecting fraud should contact your local police immediately.

DTE Energy strives to help all our customers have dependable, trouble-free service. If you suspect you may be the target of utility fraud, contact us immediately at 800.477.4747. You’ll be protecting yourself and helping to keep utility costs lower for everyone. For more information about utility fraud and identity theft visit, dteenergy.com.

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