News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 28, 2013

Vectren warns customers of telephone scam


The Tribune-Star

INDIANAPOLIS — Vectren is warning customers of a multi-state bill payment scam that is resurfacing this summer in scattered locations throughout the U.S.

In a press release, Vectren said that as part of the scam, customers receive an unsolicited phone call from an individual claiming to represent the utility company. The caller claims that the utility will disconnect the customer’s service if the customer fails to make an immediate payment – usually within an hour.

Customers are instructed to purchase a prepaid debit card – at times referring to a GreenDot card — and call back to supposedly make a payment to the utility company.

The customer is asked to provide the receipt number and PIN number from the prepaid debit card. That gives the caller instant access to the card’s funds and the ability to immediately drain its balance.

“Vectren would never require a customer to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card in order to make a payment of any type,” said Doug Petitt, Vectren’s chief information officer and vice president of information technology and customer service.

“We’re urging any customer who is approached in this fashion to contact us immediately to verify the legitimacy of the request and discuss his/her account status.”

Customers can use vectren.com’s live chat option or call 1-800-227-1376 to reach Vectren’s contact center, which is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The scam also could be reported at the Better Business Bureau website, www.bbb.org/scam.