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I&M, 3Rivers warn customers of scams

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 8:23 am

Two businesses are warning Fort Wayne-area residents about possible scams involving their names.

3Rivers Federal Credit Union received a very high volume of calls Tuesday morning from members and nonmembers who were reporting that they had received fraudulent automated phone calls stating that their 3Rivers debit card had been cancelled. It is a phishing scam, and the calls are not coming from 3Rivers, the credit union warned in a news release.

Indiana Michigan Power Co. warned Tuesday that customers continue to be targeted by phone scammers who falsely represent themselves as company workers. The callers threaten to cut off the electric service if money is not paid immediately by credit card, Green Dot Money Card, or a variety of other types of prepaid cash cards. In another version of the scam, the caller says the victim's electric meter must be immediately replaced to avoid a fire, and the victim is instructed to pay fees using a money order or prepaid cash card.

While any customer can be targeted by a scammer, I&M's ethnic business customers, whose native language is not English, are frequent victims. Eighty scam attempts have been reported to I&M from January through August. In August alone, 10 customers called I&M to report they had been contacted by a scammer. Seven out of the 10 scam attempts were non-residential customers. These types of scams are not unique to I&M's customers as electric consumers throughout the country are being targeted, according to a news release.

I&M will not call and ask that a bill or any fees associated with meter replacement be paid using a money order or prepaid cash card. If Indiana's customers have questions regarding the status of their electric service or have questions on how to make a legitimate payment they should have their account number ready and call I&M's Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-311-4634.