Experts warn of utility scams going around during COVID-19 pandemic

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Con-artists are using fear tactics to scam residents regarding their utility bills. 
Scammers are calling or emailing and falsely claiming consumers and businesses are behind on payments and about to be shut off. 

“The vulnerability right now for everybody is the current state of affairs and the economy and people maybe not having enough money to pay all of their bills right away when they’re due,” Chris Babin, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said. “Scammers are taking advantage of that opportunity and the uncertainty that we’re all facing right now and attempting to scam consumers out of their money.”​​

Experts say con-artists are using fear tactics to scam residents regarding their utility bills, and it can happen especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.​
The scammers tell you your bill is late and you need to pay immediately.​​

“Scammers love to impersonate people and organizations that we already trust and believe in so they’ll call and impersonate that organization pretending to be some type of customer service representative, typically,” explained Babin.

​Scammers identify themselves as a representative from your local electric or gas company. ​

“They’re (scammers) going to try to tell you that your payment didn’t go through or you have to pay now because of course they’re going to shut off your power and you won’t have any electricity,” Babin added.

A representative with LUS (Lafayette Utilities System) said they are having some issues with their reminder call putting the wrong date, but have been working on improving the process.

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