About USACEA Scam
USACEA Scam is a platform dedicated to helping consumers avoid common energy and utility scam calls, phishing attempts, and other strategies employed by scam artists to deceive them.
Scams are becoming increasingly common in our world. According to the FTC, over 2.4 million fraud complaints were received in 2022 alone, showing a total loss of $8.8B. $2.6B of this total was the result of imposter scams, with many of these imposter scams being utility scams.
USA Clean Energy Association (USACEA) is committed to informing others about the dangers of utility scams by shedding light on common scam strategies, methods to stay vigilant, and more to the benefit of consumers everywhere. As a one-stop-shop for residential solar needs serving almost 4,000 homeowners, USACEA acknowledges that protecting customers is critical and the company is a proponent of contributing to important conversations about utility scams and how they can best be avoided.
How Can Consumers Avoid Common Energy and
USA Clean Energy Association recognizes that utility and energy scams can be quite common as scammers learn how to leverage strategies to take advantage of customers. This is why the company acts as a resource for helping individuals notice the warning signs and avoid suspicious situations long before a scam artist has the opportunity to take off with their hard earned money.
USACEA notes that there are many people out there who are not fully aware of the ways that they can reduce the likelihood of falling prey to common utility and energy scams and, here, the company explores a few simple strategies.
Protect Your Personal Information
USACEA finds that one of the easiest ways to avoid falling victim to energy and utility scams is by protecting your personal information. Knowing that utility companies will not contact you to ask for your personal or account information is key, as someone asking for this info can be recognized as an immediate red flag. Always be wary about either sharing or verifying sensitive information such as credit card information, bank account numbers, or other personal information that may be used for account security.
Verify Companies’ Information
Scammers rely on their victims not properly verifying information, and combating this by religiously vetting companies that reach out to you can be very beneficial. USACEA recommends always making sure that the company that a caller represents has an online presence by searching the name and seeing if the organization provides service within your area. If you receive a call or email from a company, look into whether or not the number matches the verified number of the provider. One of the easiest ways to do so is to call the utility at the customer-service number that is included in your bill rather than call a person back at the number provided. A representative with your utility company should be able to give you the information that you need.
Be Wary of Requests for Immediate Payment
Taking your time can be extremely helpful for avoiding falling prey to utility scams. This is because scammers will try to create a sense of urgency to trick you into acting fast and handing over personal information or money before you have had time to think about the transaction. If something seems amiss and an entity is requesting immediate payment, always slow things down and look into how you can verify their authenticity. Reputable energy and utility companies provide customers with reasonable windows to pay and do not request or try to verify personal information over the phone.
Don’t Wire Money to People You Do Not Know
When in doubt, it is best to not send any money to people or entities that you do not know. Often times, scammers will ask for payment through an untraceable method such as wire transfer, a prepaid debit card or gift card, or cryptocurrency. Making payments this way makes it next to impossible to get the money back, and being asked to settle energy or utility bills through the above methods is a very clear sign that you are dealing with a scammer.
Block Suspicious Calls, Texts, and Emails
Blocking is a useful tool when you are suspicious of a potential scam because not interacting with suspicious calls, emails, or texts can help you avoid trouble. It is best practice to never open suspicious emails as they can be part of phishing scams. If you do, however, never click on the links present as they can contain malware that compromises your device and can even help the scammer access personal info.
Nowadays, scammers are getting more technologically advanced and can manipulate caller ID so that it reflects the companies that they are impersonating. This means that we cannot always trust caller ID to clue us in on a caller’s authenticity and should hang up if we are ever uncertain as to who we are speaking with. Again, the customer service phone number on your bill or on the energy provider’s official site will be the most reliable way to reach your utility company.
Know the Warning Signs and Stay Vigilant
USACEA knows that scams will often come with a ton of warning signs, and being mindful of these red flags is a simple and effective way to protect yourself. If a caller is unusually pushy, wants payment through git cards or other suspicious methods, cannot verify simple information, etc., it is always a good idea to err on the side of caution.
According to USACEA, scam experts commonly mention that those who fall victim to utility scams and similar deception do so because one or more important pieces happened to line up. Remaining vigilant and suspicious of others’ requests can drastically reduce the likelihood of critical pieces of the puzzle alignin. If you have any doubts, talk to your utility provider or speak with a friend or family member when something appears suspicious.
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USACEA Scam is your resource for learning more about the ongoing threat of utility scams and the variety of ways that consumers can work towards avoiding falling victim to them.
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