Atmos Energy observes Utility Scam Awareness Day
Published 1:48 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Atmos Energy joins Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) this week to support International Fraud Awareness Week and today recognizes the sixth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day, an advocacy and awareness campaign focused on educating customers and exposing the tactics used by scammers. This year’s theme is ‘End the Call. End the Scam.’
“Beware of impostors demanding payment at your door. Our employees will not collect payments in person,” said Kay Coomes, Atmos Energy manager of public affairs. “Always ask for an employee’s identification badge, which displays the name, photograph, and Atmos Energy logo. If you suspect an impostor, call our customer service number at 888-286-6700 to verify the employee’s identity and contact local authorities.”
UUAS, a consortium of nearly 150 U.S. and Canadian electric, water, and natural gas utilities and their respective trade associations, continues to create customer understanding of common scams and new scam tactics being used by utility impostors. Through its work and with the aid of customer reporting, UUAS has successfully helped to take nearly 12,000 toll-free numbers used by scammers against utility customers out of operation.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, utilities have seen an increase in reported scammers who are contacting customers seeking payments and personal and financial information to avoid service interruptions. As a reminder, Atmos Energy will never ask for payments using a pre-paid debit card, gift card, cryptocurrencies, or third-party digital payment mobile applications, and we will provide multiple notices and work to assist customers with payment plan options before service interruptions.
“It’s perfectly acceptable for a customer to hang up the phone. The scammer’s initial goal is to pressure their targets and convince them that they work for the utility,” said Monica Martinez, UUAS executive director. “Scammers are extremely sophisticated in their tactics, and, by simply ending the call, you can end their scam. If you are unsure, you can always call the utility directly by dialing the number found on your bill or on their website, and they will provide you with correct information.”
Customers who suspect fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should contact local law enforcement authorities and the Atmos Energy customer service team at 888-286-6700, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST.