Wisconsin’s largest utility reports an “alarming spike” in telephone scams. We Energies says more than 100 business customers were called Thursday by scammers who claimed electricity would be shut off if they didn’t get a prepaid debit card and pay their overdue bills immediately — and at least two customers followed the callers’ orders and lost money.
It’s illegal for utilities to shut off power in Wisconsin between November and mid April when the state’s winter moratorium is in place. Also, We Energies never asks customers to use prepaid debit cards.
Utility spokeswoman Amy Jahns said Thursday’s reports of scams represents almost one ninth of the 880 scams reported for all of last year — and the Wisconsin Public Service utility and Alliant Energy have also seen increases in scam attempts involving their customers.