December 20, 2014

Scam warning for utility customers

A utility scam that started on the east coast is making its way into Wisconsin. Using phone calls, home visits, and even social media, scammers have been trying to obtain personal financial information from utility customers.

Scott Reigstad with Alliant Energy says the offer they’re making sounds very appealing. The claim is that President Obama has created a program that will help them pay their utility bills and people can qualify for a grant of up to $1,000 from the federal government. To access the money, they are being asked to give a bank account or social security number to obtain a routing number for making a payment.

After the recent hot weather, utility bills will be higher than usual for many people, so Reigstad says he can understand why it sounds so appealing. However, once scammers have your information, customers could have money or their identity easily stolen.

So far in July, Reigstad says Alliant Energy has received about 100 payments from the routing number tied to the scam. He says none of those payments are being processed or applied to accounts, and the company is working to contact customers who appear to have been victims.

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:08)