Atmos Energy joins Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) in observation of the fourth annual Utility Scam Awareness Week to educate customers and expose deceptive tactics used by scammers.
UUAS, a consortium of more than 140 U.S. and Canadian electric, water and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations, aims to create awareness of fraudulent schemes and to cease operations of nearly 5,000 toll-free numbers used against utility customers by scammers.
“The safety of the public, our employees and our system is our highest priority, and this includes helping protect our customers from the harmful impact of a utility impostor scam,” says Robert Lesley, manager of public affairs for Atmos Energy in Mississippi. “Unfortunately, scammers continuously adapt and occasionally fool even the most sophisticated customers. We are thankful to join UUAS and utility companies across North America to expose scammer tactics, so our customers can better protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighbors from these threats.”
Scammers typically use three strategies – in-person, online or phone – to target the money, property and personal information of utility customers. We recommend customers take the following steps to protect themselves from fraud:
* Always ask for an employee’s identification badge, which displays their name, photograph and Atmos Energy logo.
* If you suspect an impostor, call our customer service number at 888.286.6700 immediately to verify the employee’s identity and contact local authorities.
* Beware of impostors demanding payment at your door. Our employees will not collect cash payments in person.
* Beware of bogus emails requesting immediate payment of your bill, particularly with prepaid debit cards.
* Verify that your account number listed is correct.
* Do not click on any links in the suspicious email, as many contain viruses.
* Verify your account balance through our online Account Center.
* Telephone scams are also on the rise, where people pose as utility employees and demand immediate payment of past due balances.
* If you ever have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, please hang up and call our customer service number at 888.286.6700.
More information is available on the Atmos Energy website at https://www.atmosenergy.com/
/www.utilitiesunited.org> for more information and tips about how you can protect yourself from scams or follow along on Twitter: @U_U_A_S and Facebook: @UtilitiesUnited for the latest updates.