CWLP Warns of Phone Scam

Posted:
SPRINGFIELD -  City Water, Light and Power (CWLP) has again received reports from business customers who have received phone calls from a person acting as if they are calling from the “power company” and requesting immediate payment. Two restaurants and a grocery store, which were targeted today, reported that the callers requested prompt payment by phone in order to avoid disconnection and another caller requested payment for fees for meters being changed out due to new “federal regulations.” At least one of these calls came from the (312) area code. Past scam calls reported to CWLP in the last couple of years have come from 800 and 888 numbers, and the (773), (218) and (501) area codes.

Similar scams by phone have been reported frequently by other utilities from all around the country according to the American Public Power Association.

CWLP wants customers to know that:

  • Any customer who is unsure if a phone call is actually coming from CWLP should take the caller's name and telephone number, hang up and then call CWLP Customer Service at 789-2030 to verify account status.
  • No calls made to customers on behalf of the utility would come from an Area Code other than 217;
  • CWLP never blocks its identify from caller ID systems;
  • When CWLP representatives make courtesy calls to let customers know their accounts are in arrears, they inform the customers they have one business day to make a payment and they never initiate a suggestion that the customer make the payment by phone;
  • Other than when a customer requests to make a payment by phone, the only personal information a CWLP representative would ever request over the phone would be the last four digits of the customer's Social Security Number, which might be needed to verify the representative is speaking with the customer;
  • If a customer has given out private information or made payment based on one of these scams, they may report it to Springfield Police at 788-8325.
The Better Business Bureau advises the following in order to avoid falling victim to email and phone scams:

  • Never provide your social security number, credit card number or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking. 
  • If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.
  • Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.
  • Always think safety first. Do not give in to high-pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.
Customers who receive suspicious phone calls related to their CWLP accounts may verify their account information and also report that trouble to the CWLP Customer Service by phone (789-2030) or email (publicinformation@cwlp.com). Customers are also reminded they should never provide any personal information to suspect callers.  

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