MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – A Local Scam Alert: Someone is calling MLGW customers and threatening to cut off utilities if they don’t receive bill payments immediately. Both MLGW and the Better Business Bureau are putting out warnings.
The Better Business Bureau has received 8 complaints from people in our area in the last 24 hours.
“People have reported getting calls that are robocalls or a recorded message or a live person. The caller threatens to turn off your utilities within 30 minutes if you don’t make immediate payment over the phone,” says BBB Spokesperson Nancy Crawford.
Crawford says in some cases the scammers are spoofing calls to make it look as if the call is really coming from a legitimate MLGW customer service number.
“They are going to ask for banking information, credit card, debit card. If you refuse to give that information, they may ask you to go buy a prepaid gift card and call them back with that information,” says Crawford.
When people refuse to pay, Crawford says the scammers get rude and begin cursing.
While MLGW mails cut-off notices to customers and uses auto-dialers alerting them that payment must be made by a certain date to avoid cutoff, the company will not call customers demanding payment over the phone.
MLGW says if you get such a call, hang up the phone and never give out personal information.
Crawford adds summer is prime for this type of scam. It’s hot and people fear not having power and air condition. The Better Business Bureau says there have been 42 scam reports like this nationwide.
“It’s hot. Nobody wants to be without their air conditioner right now because our temperatures with the heat index can typically get over 100 in the Memphis, so people want to make sure their air is not cut off,” says Crawford.
Luckily none of the people from our area who reported this to the Better Business Bureau fell for this scam, but we’re told others have.