YouMail released a new robocall warning, saying that utility-related impostor robocalls are posing a concern to Americans. These utility scam calls claiming to be from major American gas, electric, and other utilities in order to swindle unwary victims by threatening them with instant disconnection if their “utility bills” are not paid quickly.
The specifics of the scam calls differ, but they typically claim that the user’s service is going to be terminated and that they need to click a key to make a payment or speak to someone at the business. Some calls are made from an entirely random phone number and mention a generic firm name. Others link to certain departments by using a local phone number with the recipient’s area code. Some of them utilize a spoofed caller ID from a well-known utility business.
Apparently, these con artists are seeking to exploit the growing number of households who are having trouble paying their power bills. The National Energy Assistance Directors Association estimates that 1 in 6 American households, or over 20 million homes, are at risk of being scammed.
These calls are being made around the nation, posing as practically all of the major utilities in the US. Customers may be receiving real payment reminders from their utilities, making it difficult for them to identify these calls as scammers. The harm caused by these robocalls has also increased dramatically; according to several utilities, a successful scam now results in losses of $650 on average.
Alex Quilici, CEO of YouMail, commented on the matter: “At this point, utility imposters making random phone calls have a very good chance of reaching someone who is behind on their payments, and who will be susceptible to these scams. The only prudent thing for a consumer to do is simply let these calls roll to voicemail and then call their utility directly at the phone number on their bill or on the utility website. In addition, it’s wise for consumers to run robocall blocking apps like YouMail to filter out most of these calls automatically, saving them time and trouble.”