Centerpoint Energy is warning customers of increases in utility-related door-to-door, phone call and text message scams.
There has been an increase in reports of people impersonating Centerpoint Energy representatives. They have employed various tactics, including requests to check electric meters at customers’ homes and spoofing company phone numbers to threaten service disconnection, according to a Centerpoint Energy news release.
The utility will never call a customer and demand payment over the phone to avoid immediate disconnection, and will never ask customers to make payments with a prepaid debit card, gift card, cryptocurrency or third-party digital payment mobile applications, utility representatives say.
All CenterPoint Energy technicians and contractors will have a company badge to display when performing work, representatives say.
While scammers can spoof the utility’s phone numbers, if the utility’s name is not displayed on the caller ID when receiving a call to a mobile device, it should be considered a scam call, representatives say.
If a customer needs to verify their account status, they should call customer service at the number listed on their bill or log in to their account online. Customers should not send money to anyone until their account status has been verified with customer service, representatives say.
If a customer believes they have been a victim of a scam, they should report the incident to the utility through an online customer service form at midwest.centerpointenergy.com/contact. Depending on the particular scam, customers can also file a report with the FBI at ic3.gov, and with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov.