HOUSTON (FOX 26) - CenterPoint Energy wants customers to watch out for people posing as their employees. The company says they've gotten multiple complaints about scammers targeting people around the country.
In some cases, the scammers show up, tell you you're behind on your bills and that you have a short time to make a payment or lose service, according to CenterPoint Energy. Another strategy involves fake job offers or fake business opportunities.
"Criminals posing as utility company representatives are after two things: our customers' money or personal information," said Carlos White, corporate security for CenterPoint Energy. "Current scams include service disconnection calls to small commercial businesses, job offer scams and fake payment scams. We have also heard reports of phone calls or visits from people going door-to-door trying to collect money fraudulently by claiming utility bills are overdue and must be paid immediately."
CenterPoint Energy warns customers to beware of scams by phone call, email, and text messages by people posing as employees of the company.
"The practice of SMShing to steal identities is also on the rise. A SMShing attack is sent via an SMS (short message service) message better known simply as a text message and occurs when a scammer attempts to dupe a potential victim into clicking on a malicious link in a text message on their mobile phone. Protecting personal and financial customer data is of utmost importance to CenterPoint Energy," said Kevin Marquardt, CenterPoint Energy’s Manager of Data Privacy.
CenterPoint Energy says if you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, hang up and discontinue contact immediately. The company says scammers can use software to make phone calls look like they are coming from a legitimate source.
You can verify your account status by calling CenterPoint Energy Customer Service at (800)245-2377 or on their website.