CONSUMER ALERT: Email-Based Utility Scams Aggressively Targeting Wisconsin Consumers
January 17, 2014
Media Contact: Jerad Albracht, Senior Communications Specialist, 608-224-5007 or Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has received a number of complaints and inquiries in January about two different utility scams targeting Wisconsin consumers by email.
The emails in these nationwide scams fraudulently claim to come from one of two legitimate energy providers: Texas-based Atmos Energy or California-based Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E). Both emails tell consumers that they have a past due utility bill. The emails reference fake account numbers and direct consumers to visit linked websites to view their statements or to make a payment. By clicking on any links in the messages, consumers risk having their systems infected with malware and losing personal or banking information to the scammers.
Both Atmos Energy and PG&E have warnings about these scams on their websites. Neither company provides services to Wisconsin consumers.
If you receive an email regarding a past due utility bill from either Atmos Energy or PG&E:
- Delete the email immediately.
- Do not click any links contained in the message.
- Do not download any attachments from the email.
- Do not provide any personal or banking information or reply to the message.
- If you received the fraudulent PG&E email, you can report the contact to PG&E at CorporateSecurity@pge.com.
For more information or to file a consumer complaint with DATCP, visit datcp.wisconsin.gov, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the hotline toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
Connect with Consumer Protection on Facebook: www.facebook.com/wiconsumer.