MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) Scam calls to area homes and businesses have sharply risen according to NIPSCO. The electric company is warning the public about specific scams targeting during the holiday season.
Recent, and common reports from NIPSCO residential and business customers state that they have received calls and texts from people claiming to be NIPSCO employees and demanding payment to avoid their service being disconnected.
NIPSCO wants to emphasize that the company never demands immediate payment via a prepaid card, or in cash at a person’s residence or place of business. These scammers have even presented information that only the customer may know in an attempt to gain their trust.
If a customer receives a suspicious call, email or home visit, they should immediately verify their account status at myaccount.nipsco.com or contact NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726. Additionally, customers should NOT call any number they are given. If a customer is a victim of a scam, they should report it to their local police.
Additional tips for customers to avoid potential scams:
- Guard your personal information – Never give personal information, including your NIPSCO account number, social security number and/or banking information to unconfirmed sources. We only ask for a social security number when establishing new service or verifying a customer’s identity.
- Verify your account status – Scammers may insist that your account is in arrears, or past due, even when you have paid your bill. You can verify your account status by visiting myaccount.nipsco.com.
- Call NIPSCO – If you are unsure about a phone call, email, program, offer or person claiming to be affiliated with NIPSCO, please call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726.
- Know your payment options – We will never ask for a pre-paid debit card or money gram as a payment method. To more easily spot a potential scam, learn more about our payment options at nipsco.com/bills-and-payments.
- Never agree to meet in person – Some scammers ask customers to meet them in person to make payments with cash or prepaid cards, which you should avoid.
What to do if someone visits your home or business:
- Ask to see ID – Our employees and contractors carry photo ID badges and will gladly show you upon request.
- Call NIPSCO – If you are unsure about a person claiming to be affiliated with NIPSCO, please call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726.
- Use caution with cash – Our employees do not collect cash payments nor deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers. Refrain from sending cash through the mail to prevent loss or theft. For more information on authorized, secure payment methods and locations, visit: nipsco.com/bills-and-payments.
NIPSCO is Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, serves approximately 820,000 natural gas and 470,000 electric customers across 32 counties.