Have you ever received a phone call that says, you MUST pay this amount or else your electricity will be cut off? How about someone came to your home claiming that he is from your energy supplier and asks for some sort of money as an additional charge? Then, you almost fell for an electric company scam. Crooks use all kinds of sneaky approaches. They try to confuse, pressurize and manipulate you for them to get your hard-earned money worse your identity. It is important to know how they work so you can avoid being a victim. Let’s see the different strategies of electric company scammers.
Tricking you into switching energy providers
This one is less damaging, but it will still cost you some money. A representative will call and offer you to switch electricity provider. He will try to manipulate you by giving minimal information about competitive energy plans and benefits that you can get, then, on the latter part of this presentation, he will ask for registration or switching fee.
Make sure before you entertain and provide personal information to an unfamiliar energy supplier do a background check on their website to know if they are legit.
Threatening to turn your power off
Scammers often used this strategy to small businesses that would be affected very hard if their power went off. They will inform you about the notice of disconnection since you are behind on payments. They use ID spoofing software to look like they are really calling from your energy supplier. Their pitch starts with “If you don’t immediately send the payment, we don’t have the choice but to disconnect your power”.
If you get an email or phone call like this, beware. Legit energy companies will never threaten to disconnect your electricity or demand immediate payment over the phone. Instead, you will receive a written notice of any issues from your energy company.
Stealing from you during a power outage
We cannot live without electricity and scammers are using this situation for them to get some of your hard earned money. They will call and offer you to fix the loss of electric power in your home with a single payment. Energy companies will never ask payment to restore your power.
Stealing your identity with a fake government program
Identity thieves are after your personal details. They may show up at your door, through email or phone, or using online ads. They introduce as representative of a special government program that will finance your energy bills. All you need to do is to give your name, complete address, driver’s license number, and other personal information.
Always remember not to share your personal details with an unauthorized person. If you are looking for legit government-sponsored assistance, visit australia.gov.au.
Collecting bogus fees to replace or repair equipment
The scammer will demand payment to install energy efficient meters or equipment for you to pay less and conserve more energy as your energy company’s requirement.
Take note that, if you need a meter upgrade your energy retailer will notify you in advance. The payment will also be included in your energy bills, meaning you’ll never have to make separate payments for meter or equipment installation.
Robbing your home
The most frightening scenario involves a home robbery. Scammers posing as a door to door representative of your electricity supplier. One talks to you about energy conservation, discounts, contracts, best rates and offers for you to be distracted while his partner-in-crime will take advantage to snatch up your valuables.
Trustworthy energy companies do not send a salesperson to your home just to discuss energy conservation. Do not show your electric bills to random strangers knocking at your door, nor let them bother you at home. Your home should be the safest place on earth.
How to keep yourself safe from electric scammers?
- Arm yourself with knowledge
- Do not entertain phone and door-to-door solicitors
- Report unauthorized personnel to the police
- If you want to save more money on your energy, do your own research through Econnex.
Avoid being a victim. You can save money on your energy without losing any.