DAYTON — Dayton Power & Light has received reports about a payment scam where customers reported they’ve been contacted by someone claiming to represent DP&L and indicating that their electric service would be disconnected if they did not immediately provide payment information.
According to a release provided by DP&L, three common scams involve:
1. Callers asking customers to send a pre-paid debit card to pay their bill or to replace dangerous equipment.
2. Callers threatening disconnection if payment is not received immediately.
3. Callers targeting small businesses during peak business hours, such as restaurants at lunch time. The scammers try to catch employees off guard to gain account information, and to instill fear that power will be turned off.
In all cases, the scammers are trying to defraud customers. They often target elderly people and small businesses that are fearful their electricity may be turned off unless they comply immediately. These scammers usually have a little bit of information about you and will try to persuade you to provide more so they can gain access to your bank accounts and/or use your credit card numbers.
Scams may use email, social media, phone calls or even door-to-door visits. Many victims received forwarded emails or text messages from well-meaning friends and family who were also victimized.
DP&L reminds customers not to provide personal information or comply with requests for payments unless they are confident with whom they are speaking. Before you do anything, hang up and call DP&L at 800-433-8500 to ask questions about anyone contacting you about your bill or claiming to be from the utility.
That this is an industry wide problem that has affected many utilities across the country. DP&L is working with authorities to stop this unauthorized activity.
DP&L offers these tips:
• Never give anyone personal information such as your Social Security number (including the numbers on the back of your Social Security card), bank account number or credit card number unless you initiated the conversation and you are confident the transaction is legitimate.
• DP&L does not require or strongly recommend a specific payment method or type. We offer a variety of payment options so customers can select the option that best meets their needs.
• If you receive a call from someone claiming to be with your utility company asking for payment, hang up and call the utility’s customer service number. DP&L customers can email us or call 800-433-8500.
• DP&L will only come to your door to collect payment if your account is past due and you have been sent notice that your account is scheduled for disconnection. DP&L employees carry photo identification which customers should request to see. For your protection, please verify that anyone who approaches you to collect money for your DP&L bill is either a DP&L employee or an approved contractor.
• If you have already provided information to someone making this offer, contact your bank and the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, immediately.
• If someone pressures you to provide personal or financial information, hang up immediately. Notify your local police department.