Wis. DATCP says utility scam calls to businesses is on the rise

MADISON (WITI) – According to a number of utility companies in the state, Wisconsin businesses are being targeted by scammers calling with threats of service cancellations. The utilities note that these calls appear to be on the rise.

The scammers contact the businesses and fraudulently claim to represent the local utility company or to serve as an agent for the utility. They tell the businesses that they are facing a shutdown of services due to non-payment of bills or for required meter upgrades or repairs. To supposedly stop interruption of the services, the scammers demand a payment within a matter of hours by wire transfer or by Green Dot MoneyPak prepaid debit card.

The scam is not contained within one region, but in a recent crop of scam calls, a group of salons and restaurants in the Fitchburg area were targeted. When the scammers focus on one specific area, it appears as if they simply run down a list of local businesses, calling each with the same phony threat.

To avoid falling victim to this crime, consider the following tips:

    For more information, visit datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to datcphotline@wisconsin.gov or call the Consumer Information Hotline.