It can often be hard to spot a scam in the moment. Sure hindsight is 20/20, but unless you’re prepared and know exactly what to look out for, it can be easier than you think to fall victim to a utility scam.
It’s easy to be manipulated when put under pressure, particularly when it comes to necessities like power and water in your home. That’s why we’ve outlined the key things to look out for when it comes to utility scams. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to be tricked into paying money you shouldn’t.
Someone Knocks on Your Door
Many utility scammers will come door to door, give you a sales pitch about an energy plan or contract, and then ask for money on the spot. Even if they have ID and are wearing a uniform, it’s important that you don’t give any cash to these representatives until you’ve checked with your energy company to verify that they’re a true employee of theirs. It’s always best to be extra cautious and say no to any payments on your doorstep – if the representative is honest, they won’t mind you calling the company, and you’ll still receive the deal that’s been discussed.
Someone Asks For Cash
Utility companies never ask you for cash. Whether they are over the phone representatives, or coming to your door to fix an issue. If someone comes to your home claiming to be a representative of your utility company and asks for a cash payment, you can be sure it’s a scam.
How You Can Avoid Scams Altogether
There are a few proactive steps you can take to avoid the threat of scams all together.
Compare your energy plan on a regular basis
Comparing your energy plan against the market helps you gain an idea of what you should be paying while saving money in the process. It’s a lot harder to be scammed into paying more than you should when you’re aware of the market price.
Stay on top of your bill payments
If a scammer calls to tell you you’re behind on bill payments and threaten to cut off your electricity, it’s a lot easier to fall victim to the scam if you actually are behind on your payments. Stay certain of your payments by keeping on top of them as they come in.
Err on the side of caution
Whenever you’re unsure of someone’s identity or validity, it’s better to be cautious and refuse to give them anything until you’ve checked with your supplier. It’s always preferable to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to potential energy scams.