Don't Be Fooled By Energy Scams. Here's How You Can Protect Your Business.

Posted March 31, 2016 | By Direct Energy Business


This April Fools' Day, don't be tricked by energy scams. 

No joke: the Financial Fraud Research Center estimates that a whopping $40 to $50 billion are lost to fraud each year in the United States alone.

Energy scams — or schemes that specifically target energy consumers — account for a large portion of those losses and range from strange to sophisticated. In 2012, for example,  customers across the country received communications claiming that President Obama would personally pay their energy bills in exchange for their social security number. 

Other energy scams, however, are more deceptive and serious. Last May, customers in the Pittsburgh area were contacted by callers pretending to be utility representatives and demanding payment for an overdue bill. More recently, customers in Alberta, Canada have been contacted by individuals falsely claiming to represent Direct Energy Business and demanding immediate payment over the phone with a prepaid debit card to avoid a disconnection of service.

These recent incidents are just a few examples of energy scams. Fortunately, this type of fraudulent activity can be easily avoided by taking a few basic precautions to protect your business:

1. Know your utility and energy supplier 

By maintaining active relationships with your utility and energy supplier, you will have a better understanding of your energy use and billing cycle. Only your local utility can disconnect service and all disconnection notices are done in writing with a specific date and deadline — never over the phone.

2. Safeguard your personal information. 

If an unverified caller demands that you provide credit or debit card information — or asks for payment with a prepaid debit card — this is a red flag. Direct Energy Business will never require payment with prepaid debit cards. 

3. Hang up the phone. 

If you ever feel uncomfortable or pressured to provide personal or payment information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number listed on your billing invoice. This will ensure that you are speaking with a real, trusted customer representative.

If you’re a Direct Energy Business customer and receive a call, email, text, or visit from someone suspicious posing as a utility or Direct Energy Business representative, please contact Direct Energy Business.

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