WPS warns of scammers using new intimidation tactics

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Wisconsin Public Service says scammers are using new intimidation tactics in attempt to steal money and information from customers.

There's been a surge in scam attempts over the past week. Since Monday, the utility based in Green Bay has received 60 complaints about scam phone calls. Most of the calls have targeted customers in Green Bay, Marinette and Sheboygan areas.

The utility has noticed something different about these complaints. The scammers are now telling customers that a crew needs to exchange or remove a natural gas or electric meter.

In some cases, the scammers tell customers that a refundable payment is needed to make the exchange (don't expect a refund).

Some scammers are using intimidation and threatening to cut off service if no payment is made (state law bans utilities from disconnecting electricity or natural gas service between November 1 and April 15).

At least one person fell victim to the scam and lost hundreds of dollars, according to WPS.

"We want to make sure that our customers know that our employees do not conduct business in a threatening manner. They will not make the kinds of threats that these scammers are making over the phone," WPS spokesman Matt Cullen said.

WPS also reminds customers that scammers may try to disguise themselves by having their number show up as Wisconsin Public Service on Caller ID. They may also play a recording of the actual WPS customer service greeting.

If you get a suspicious call, report it to WPS at 1-800-450-7260.

You can also contact your utility if you have concerns about your account.

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