consumers being targeted with email-based utility scams
By Dwayne Butler - Special to The Freeman
– The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection says it has received a number of complaints and
inquiries in January about two different utility scams targeting
Wisconsin consumers by email.
According to the DATCP, the emails in these nationwide scams
fraudulently claim to come from one of two legitimate energy
providers: Texas-based Atmos Energy or Californiabased Pacific Gas
& Electric Company. Both emails tell consumers that they have
a past due utility bill.
The emails reference fake account numbers and direct consumers to
visit linked websites to view their statements or to make a
payment. By clicking on any links in the messages, consumers risk
having their systems infected with malware and the loss of
personal or banking information to the scammers.
Both Atmos Energy and PG&E have warnings about these scams on
their respective websites. Neither company provides services to
The DATCP suggests doing the following if anyone receives an email
regarding a past due utility bill from either Atmos Energy or
PG&E: Delete the email immediately Do not click any links
contained in the message Do not download any attachments from the
email Do not provide any personal or banking information or reply
to the message.