UPDATE: State warns Wis. businesses targeted by scammers


Baraboo Police listed the following reminders for customers when they are called about their bills:

-Customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills.

-Credit card numbers and any personal information should never be provided to suspicious callers.

-If asked for this type of information, customers are advised to end the conversation and call law enforcement for assistance.

-Customer service representatives from Alliant can confirm whether the call was from Alliant Energy and can confirm a bill payment, service work or an appointment at a customer’s home or business.

-Alliant Energy representatives may contact customers to make arrangements on their accounts if accounts are past due. However, company representatives would not ask for customers to provide credit card or bank account information over the phone or through email.

-If a customer receives a suspicious call or other type of unusual contact, local law enforcement should be called immediately.

UPDATE: Monday, December 16, 2013 --- 12:00 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State officials are warning Wisconsin businesses about increasing reports of scammers calling with threats to cancel utility service unless immediate payment is made.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Monday that the con artists call a business and pretend to represent a local utility company. They tell the business that they face a shutdown of services due to non-payment of bills or for required meter upgrades or repairs.

The scammers demand payment within hours by wire transfer or with a prepaid debit card.

The state says utility companies will never call and threaten immediate cancellation, nor will they require a wire transfer or payment by prepaid debit card in order to continue service.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013 --- 4:20 p.m.

Baraboo Police are warning small business owners about a recent utility scam.

The scam artists claim to be representatives of Alliant Energy.

The scammers call small business customers and claim that the customer is past due on their bill.

Customers are asked to pay their past due bill by providing their credit card information.

The scam artists claim that if the customer refuses to provide the information, their electric or gas service will be disconnected.

The scammers may also try to convince unsuspecting customers that they can also make a utility payment by providing their bank routing numbers and account information.

Currently, the scam calls are coming from an area code in Wisconsin.

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