I&M Warns: Even in Times of Pandemic, Utility Scams March On

Not even in the middle of a pandemic have the con artists slowed their attempts to steal your money, your identity or both.

While scams are certainly not unique to Indiana Michigan Power, neither have they gone away with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. Scams have been reported across the U.S. targeting various utility customers and companies, and I&M is not immune to them. Some new scam calls have recently surface in I&M territories, including calls where scammers are speaking in other languages, including Spanish.

The scams often vary, but often work like this:

  • Customers receive calls from scammers falsely identifying themselves as I&M employees.
  • The caller claims the customer is late paying their bill, and their power will be disconnected if the customer does not pay immediately.
  • Many scammers “spoof” the telephone number to appear as a different number. In some cases, it may appear to be an authentic I&M phone number.
  • Customers are usually instructed to call a different number to arrange payment.
  • The scammers may seek account information or personal credit card and banking information from customers. Some direct the customer to buy a debit card and provide the debit card number.

During the pandemic, I&M has suspended disconnects for non-payment. Nevertheless, they remind customers that they are still responsible for their bills and it is important that they continue paying for their usage.

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For assistance on paying bills, Indiana customers can call 800-311-4634; Michigan customers should call 800-311-6424. You are also encouraged to follow along on Facebook (facebook.com/indianamichiganpower) and Twitter (@IN_MI_Power) where you can speak directly with customer service specialists on those platforms.

Regardless of the situation, I&M employees NEVER call customers demanding immediate payment. Nor does I&M disconnect service without prior written warning. Anyone receiving such bogus calls should hang up and call I&M’s Customer Operations Center at 800-311-4634 to report the scam.

As a result of the pandemic and the physical distancing recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I&M and their contractors are limiting in-person visits during the process to ensure the safety and health of both the public in general and utility employees.