As moratorium ends, We Energies officials warning of scam

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On Monday, April 15th, thousands of We Energies customers could have their power disconnected. At the same time, We Energies officials are warning of a well-timed scam that is complicating things for those customers.

Every winter, the state of Wisconsin requires We Energies to keep the power on, even if customers don't pay their bills. However, on Monday, that moratorium ends.

"By Monday we stand to have about 5,000 to 6,000 customers that potentially face disconnection," We Energies spokesman Brian McNulty said.

McNulty advises We Energies customers behind on their bills to call the company right away to work out a way to keep the lights on. McNulty says the utility offers payment plans and assistance for those who are behind following the winter freeze.

McNulty also warns that this is a perfect time for people to fall victim to a growing nationwide scam.

It starts with a phone call.

"Preying upon customers, indicating their bills are behind or they may face disconnection," McNulty said.

The scammer then tells the customer to get a Green Dot debit card and wait for another call.

"The scammer calls them again and drains that account. They ask for the numbers off the card. Don't ever give the numbers off that Green Dot card to anyone who isn't authorized," McNulty said.

Fortunately, McNulty says avoiding the scam is simple.

"The most important thing to do is take down the information from the individual and then hang up, and call We Energies to verify that the individual works for We Energies," McNulty said.

McNulty says scammers go after groups like non-English speakers and the elderly. He says even if a call seems legitimate, take down the information and look up the We Energies phone number on your own.