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Recibes una llamada y te dicen que te cortarán el suministro de electricidad o agua a menos que pagues una factura vencida. Tal vez pienses que no tienes ninguna factura vencida. Pero la persona que te llama parece convincente, y no te puedes permitir ignorar lo que te dice, especialmente si estás operando un pequeño negocio.

En verdad, no te puedes permitir creer lo que te dicen. La FTC ha estado escuchando casos de algunos estafadores que se están haciendo pasar por compañías de servicios públicos para tratar de hacerse con tu dinero. Estos son algunos indicios de una estafa de servicios públicos:

  • Si sabes que ya has pagaste, frena. Aunque la persona que te llame insista con que tienes una factura vencida. Esa es una gran bandera roja de alerta.
  • Nunca des tu información bancaria por email o por teléfono. Las compañías de servicios públicos no exigen información bancaria por email ni por teléfono. Y no te obligarán a pagar por teléfono como única opción.
  • ¿Te pidieron que pagues con una tarjeta de regalo, tarjeta recargable en efectivo, por medio de una transferencia de dinero o con una cripto-moneda? No lo hagas. Las compañías que operan legítimamente no exigen un método de pago específico. Y en general no aceptan tarjetas de regalo (como iTunes o Amazon), tarjetas recargables en efectivo (como MoneyPak, Vanilla o Reloadit) ni cripto-monedas (como bitcoin).

Si recibes una llamada como de este tipo, estas son algunas de las cosas que puedes hacer:

  • ¿Te preocupa que tu factura esté vencida? Comunícate directamente con la compañía de servicios públicos usando el número de teléfono que figura en la factura o en el sitio web de la compañía. No llames al número que te dio la persona que te llamó.
  • Nunca des información de tu cuenta bancaria por teléfono, a menos que hagas la llamada a un número que te conste que es legítimo.
  • Cuéntaselo a la FTC. Tus reportes nos ayudan a combatir estas estafas. Y repórtalo también a la verdadera compañía de servicios públicos. Si ya pagaste, infórmaselo al proveedor del medio de pago – por ejemplo, a la compañía de transferencias de dinero o tarjeta de regalo. Es posible que no recuperes tu dinero, pero es importante que los informes sobre la estafa.
  • Averigua cómo puedes protegerte y proteger a tu negocio contra las estafas.
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24 Comments

MR TIN MAUNG
September 17, 2018
ACCESS MY ACCOUNTY.
warrison49
September 17, 2018
My comment is on this isure is I submitted my data to this financial company through this email address applications@ criticalfinancing. com on this date sept 13 2018 noting has been hard please I need your advice God bless
Joel
September 17, 2018
Thank you for this information. It is very useful.
GTS
September 17, 2018
It's difficult to know if a phone number or website is safe. If the web address begins with 'https' is that for certain safe, or can even that be curupt?!
waltc
September 17, 2018
9/17/2018 If you have an answering service on your telephone just record the following: "I am monitoring my calls, please state your business and leave your name and number." If it's a scammer calling they will just hang up. It saves a lot of time running to the phone and talking to the scammer. If you recognize the person then you can answer.
catmama
September 17, 2018

En respuesta a por waltc

Actually, I have taken it a step further. I got tired of having to delete all the hang ups from my answering machine, so now, if I am in range of the telephone, I check the caller ID. If I don't know the number, I simply hang up while it is still ringing. I've done this for several years and only hung up on two legit calls in error - and they just called back, so then I did answer. It also feels so empowering to hang up the phone!! Good luck!
anon
September 17, 2018
Thanks again
STUD
September 17, 2018
I got switched to a low rate company and at the end of the rate they charged 3X as much! The state utility commission will not do anything unless I fill out paperwork and go to court before a judge. They are getting big kickbacks and screwing the consumers here in Illinois!
ShirlB
September 18, 2018
I just don't answer my phone anymore unless I know who it really is. I got Microsoft today 2x so numerous that that they call and I don't answer and then they call again. Sick of it is mild wording. I as like others get it every day. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! If I'm watching the TV it always says OK. What is with that? It isn't ok I know all of them.
churchemployee
September 19, 2018
I work for a church. I received a call this morning from a guy pretending to be from APS (our local electricity provider). He gave an amount due, phone number to call (800#) and that our electricity would be shut off in one hour if we didn't pay it. I immediately called APS using the phone number on their official website - and verified that our account was in good standing. Be careful out there! Scammers everywhere.
G. Johnson
September 24, 2018
I periodically UTILITIES BILLS (WATER Bill) lost in the MAIL 2 to 3 TIMES A year. TALK to the WATER COMPANY AND POST MASTER GENERAL eventually double paying each time. ALL OTHER BILLS MAKE IT TO THEIR DESTINATIONS FOR THE PAST 5 YEARS. I'M ON DISABILITY AND FIX INCOME THIS GOT TO STOP HELP
K.WEST
October 13, 2018
I received a call the same way. But I ran the number online and the scammers were tapping into a real electric co. in Los Angles and I'm in Texas. I notified both my and LA electric companies. Strangely trying to report it the authorities has been difficult. So be careful, and remember most businesses DO NOT contact you by phone! So if you get a call think twice, hang up, and call the number on your bill to verify ANYTHING!
rikoshea
November 01, 2018
here is a good one.In the hospital for 6 months due to quadbypass surgery.I get out and here come all the bills.I look at the bills and half of them are from DR'S that I do not know.I ask who are you they say Oh I came to see you once when your dr was away.I was working but my pay was every two weeks and it was low wages.I finally got letters from a lawyer for payments I could not afford monthly.Finally a lawyer contacted me and told me to file for bankruptsy or I will be paying that lawyer the rest of my life. which I did .Problem solved.
BAKER
January 05, 2019
UTILITY FRAUD Today I got a call from 1-800-340-0680 saying I owed $500 in unpaid electric bills. I was up to date. DO NOT CALL THAT NUMBER. 100% FRAUD. They say not to pay on line and to ONLY pay them over the phone. HANG UP.
land o lakes
January 20, 2019
In the city of Rochester, MN the utility board gets paid off to acquire property
Tina
April 24, 2019
I got sucked into a scam yesterday. I’m very angry because not only am I out of a big chunk of money, but I felt I endangered my baby by even speaking with these thieves!
Krissy
May 08, 2019
Lets set up fake information to scam the scammer? Lets give them lots of fake info. Lots of it that will lead them right to law enforcement.
Vegasgirl
September 07, 2019
Relieved a call from (800) 617-9310 informing me that my electricity was about to be shut down for nonpayment. I asked them how could this be when I had not received a bill or disconnection notice. The guy on the phone said he was the manager and could assist me with paying my bill. He requested that I go down and get a gift card for $ 489.00 to cover what I owed. As soon as I heard that I knew it was a scam. No one pays bills by gift cards. I told him this was a scam and do not call me again. Please Do not fall for this
fran
September 11, 2019
UTILITY SCAM.... Got a call today from a "FPL" (954-797-5000) letting me know my power was going to be suspended due to a problem with my account. He wanted me to pay my utility bill because it was going to be disconnected in 45 minutes.... SCAM... called FPL and reported it. BE CAREFUL if you call that number it has an FPL recording...
Kelly
September 30, 2019
888-582-8885. pretending to be LADWP. Watch out.
elaine
October 21, 2019
I received a phone call purporting to be from Dep of Water and power. they were going to cut off my power; the usual. here is the number: 1-818-771-2212 please do something about it thank you
richard szymanski
November 13, 2019
Received phone call this morning supposedly from an Entergy rep advising me that they were about to disconnect electric service because of 3 months non-payment. The caller provided a number (800-251-7050) for their Billing and Finance Dept for me to call to get things sorted out. I smelled a scam right away but decided to play along to get more information for others who might get called. First I Googled the number and it is registered to the Breakthrough Learning Institute in NC. Then I called the real Entergy Billing number that I found online and confirmed that my account was up to date. Then I called the 800 number the scammer provided and the guy who answered knew my name and address. I told him that I had already confirmed payment status with the online Entergy number and then I asked why they going to disconnect service. Can you believe - he asked why I was calling him if I had already contacted the online Entergy number ..... then he hung up.
Not The Illumi…
January 15, 2020
Got this call from faked caller id of the real Illuminating Company. When you call the 1-800-540-7719 number, it's almost convincing, because it's a copy of the real voice menu from the real company. "illuminating company this call is to inform you that your power will get disconnected in 30 minutes due to a pending balance on the account please call the direct billing department number at 1-800-540-7719 to avoid power disconnection again the number is 1 800-540-7719 if you need to speak with a representative please press two thank you for choosing the illuminatin company goodbye"
recent widow
June 25, 2020
I requested from my water utility company a water check. They sent a person out. The person checked the water quality then proceeded to pressure me to buy their water purifying system. Thank heavens that my daughter showed up and set them straight and packing.