The latest scam attempt aimed at WPS customers
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) customers scattered throughout its territory are reporting scam attempts. According to WPS spokesman Kerry Spees, the attempts take various directions, from disconnection for nonpayment to paying charges to repair or replace meters. Small businesses have been contacted as well as residential customers. Scammers have gotten more sophisticated and often are using technology that will show Wisconsin Public Service on a caller ID. All of the scam attempts have a couple things in common:
- They tell the customer that payment must be made almost immediately to avoid disconnection of service.
- The customer is told to purchase a prepaid credit card at a nearby pharmacy or other store and call the back with the numbers on the card.
Very few of the hundreds of customers who have reported scam attempts have fallen for it. But as long as some customers are fooled, the scammers will keep trying. Spees wants customers to be aware of the following:
- WPS will never tell a customer to purchase a prepaid credit/debit card to make payment.
- WPS field representatives are not authorized to collect any payments.
- WPS has generally spoken or written several times to customers who could face disconnection.
- The winter moratorium on residential disconnections is in force until April 2016.
- Even if the caller ID says WPS it is not necessarily so. Customers with any inkling that something isn’t right should call WPS to verify the status of their account. (800) 450-7260
- If they are able to obtain any information from the caller, like the phone number it would be helpful
- Customers should notify the local authorities and the Wisconsin Dept. of Consumer Protection if there is a scam attempt.