ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Energy bill scammers often pretend to be representatives of public utilities so they can steal your money and/or identity.

Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said this is becoming a growing problem as imposter scams are the second-most common type of consumer complaint. “Life is fast today. In the fast lane, trying to get things done and being careless,” Guidroz added.

Sheriff Guidroz warned that scammers are getting smarter as common utility bill scams are constantly evolving. Guidroz continued, “They are fooling a lot of people.”

He said a common scam that is currently circulating is promoting a savings opportunity. “For a reduced monthly payment, pay with a gift card. No utility company will do that,” added Guidroz.

He admitted residents are vulnerable right now because of rising costs, and that is when scammers hit. “You have to call the company yourself if there is any doubt or suspicion of illegal activity,” said Guidroz.

He said scammers are getting personal and account information about services just through online searches. Guidroz explained, “Believe it or not, our citizens are careless when it comes to wanting to pay online. Do research.”