Utility bill phone payment scams on the rise

Last Updated on December 7, 2015 by cassnetwork

NIPSCO is warning customers of a rise in telephone scams, which began over the weekend and has continued into Monday.

Reports state, the scammers are contacting businesses and residential customers from various 800 numbers claiming to be NIPSCO employees and informing them of a delinquent bill. They tell customers that immediate payment is required or their service(s) will be shut off.

In some cases, customers are asked to purchase a money gram or prepaid debit card and then prompted to call a different 800 number to make their payment.  In other cases, some have provided addresses for local NIPSCO operating facilities and asked customers to meet them in person, to collect payment.

Customers should never call any number other than 1-800-4NIPSCO when dealing with their account.

NIPSCO never asks for customers, who are behind on payments, to purchase a prepaid debit card or to pay cash to avoid disconnection. Customers have the following payment options: online, by phone, by mail or at one of NIPSCO’s authorized payment locations. A list of authorized locations can be found at NIPSCO.com/BillingPayment.

Potential threats or scams can appear in a variety of forms, including phone calls and e-mails.  By following some of these simple tips below, customers can help avoid being the victim of a scam.

1.        Never give personal information, including Social Security numbers and banking information, to unconfirmed sources. NIPSCO only asks for a Social Security number when a customer is applying for new service or to verify a customers’ identification.

2.        If you believe you have been the victim of a scam, contact 911 as well as your local banking institution or credit card company if applicable.

3.        Legitimate bill assistance programs are available to qualifying customers. For more information on these offerings, visit NIPSCO.com/PaymentAssistance.

4.        If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any e-mail, phone call, programs or offers claiming to be affiliated with NIPSCO, please call our 24-Hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-4NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726).

More tips to stay safe are available at NIPSCO.com/StaySafe.

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