HOUSTON (CW39) Scam artists are going into high gear and coming after you. Now energy providers are noticing an large increase in scams hitting you right where you live.

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be on alert for utility service disconnection scams.

CenterPoint Energy officials say they’ve seen and increase in door-to-door, phone call and text message scams. There’ve even been reports of individuals impersonating CenterPoint Energy employees. The con-artist use various “tactics”, including requests to check electric meters at customers` homes and spoofing company phone numbers to threaten service disconnection.

CenterPoint Energy says it will never call a customer and demand payment over the phone to avoid immediate disconnection. The company also says it would never ask customers to make payments with a pre-paid debit card, gift card, any form of cryptocurrency, or third-party digital payment mobile applications. Furthermore, all CenterPoint Energy technicians and contractors will have a company badge to display when performing work.

“We encourage customers to remain on high alert as we continue to see utility scams on the rise across our service territories,” said Tal Centers, Vice President, Texas Gas. “Any customer who is approached with what they believe to be a scam, should report the incident to CenterPoint Energy through our online Customer Service form.”

CenterPoint Energy

CenterPoint Energy continues to identify opportunities, such as working with its phone vendors, to mitigate the risk of scam calls to its customers. While scammers can spoof CenterPoint Energy’s phone numbers, if the company’s name is not displayed on the caller ID when receiving a call to a mobile device, it can be considered a scam and the customer should hang up immediately.

If a customer needs to verify their account status, they may call customer service at the number listed on their bill or log in to their account on our website. Customers should not send money in any form until their account status has been verified with Customer Service.

Depending on the particular scam, customers who believe they have been a victim can also take the following steps to report:

  • File a report with the local police department.
  • File a report with the FBI.
  • File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.