ATLANTA – Nov. 15, 2017 – Keeping families safe and natural gas flowing to homes and businesses is Atlanta Gas Light’s highest priority. That’s why Atlanta Gas Light is joining other utility companies across the United States and Canada to protect customers against utility scams.
The Utilities United Against Scams collaboration has designated Nov. 15 as “Utility Scam Awareness Day” to support a week-long campaign designed to expose the tactics scammers use to steal money from customers, and how they can protect themselves.
“Working together with other utilities offers us an additional platform to educate the communities where we live and serve on how to remain vigilant against utility scams,” said Bryan Batson, president of Atlanta Gas Light.
Atlanta Gas Light is committed to keeping its customers informed about utility scam activities. Although there are a number of scam tactics, a common one involves a customer receiving an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a company representative.The scammer warns that the company will disconnect the customer’s natural gas service if a payment is not made within a short time frame.
Scammers also can duplicate a company’s upfront Interactive Voice Response system, so when customers call back phone numbers provided by the scammer, it appears to be legitimate. Some of these scams also use caller ID spoofing to replicate a company’s customer service number.
Red flags for scam activity
- The individual becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
- The individual instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to the company.
- The individual asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
How to protect yourself
- Whenever a field service representative or one of our contractors visits your home or business, they will provide proper identification. If you have further concerns, please contact customer care at 1-800-427-5463 to confirm that a representative has been scheduled to perform work at your premises.
- Atlanta Gas Light will never call customers regarding their natural gas bill.
- While we maintain the pipeline infrastructure, respond to emergencies and read meters every month, we do not bill customers directly. Only natural gas certified marketers sell natural gas to customers, and bill their customers for natural gas usage.
Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with an individual posing as a company representative, should contact local authorities, and then the customer care center phone number listed on their bill.
For information, visit www. atlantagaslight.com/safety.