Scam alert: WPS cautions customers of sudden surge in scam attempts
Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) is warning residents and businesses throughout northeast and north central Wisconsin to be aware of a rapid increase in scam phone calls. Since Wednesday afternoon, scammers have made more than 60 phone calls to try and fraudulently obtain money from WPS customers.
During the recent surge, both business and residential customers have been targeted by scammers, with the majority of calls being reported in the Wausau and Crivitz areas. In one case, a customer did fall victim to the scam and paid hundreds of dollars.
In some instances, scammers have disguised their identity by playing a recording of the WPS customer service greeting on a callback number provided to customers. Similar to previous scams, the criminals have threatened customers with disconnection in as little as a half-hour if they do not make an immediate payment. Some customers have reported being told to purchase a prepaid debit or credit card in order to pay the false debt.
WPS strongly emphasizes that its authentic employees do not conduct business in a threatening manner, and will never require customers to purchase a prepaid card to pay their energy bill. Customers also should never provide any banking, account or private information if they cannot verify the authenticity of a call claiming to be from WPS.
If a customer receives a threatening or suspicious call, they should hang up and immediately contact WPS at 800-450-7260. WPS employees can verify the status of a customer’s account and determine if a legitimate employee has tried to contact them.