Vol. 20   No. 1
Winter 2015
  • MGE Talks Business
News Briefs

Be aware of utility payment scams

Be aware of utility payment scams

Nathan Prince, from Willalby's Cafe, received a call threatening to shut his power off if he didn't go to a 7-11 and make a $1,000 payment. Luckily he came to MGE instead. We told him it was a scam and suggested he report the caller to the police. We've had almost 700 scam reports since 2013.

Local businesses continue to encounter scams involving their Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) bill. Both large and small businesses have been targets. The scammer contacts a business owner and poses as a representative from MGE. They attempt to collect money claiming past-due accounts for energy use, service upgrades or repairs to utility meters. The scammers give instructions to pay with a prepaid debit card or with a wire transfer, and often threaten immediate disconnection.

Other utility companies in Wisconsin have experienced similar scams.

To protect your business:

  • Do not provide your Social Security, credit card or bank account information to anyone who requests the information during an unsolicited phone call.
  • Call our customer service number, 608-252-7222, if someone calls, claims they represent MGE and demands immediate payment or personal information.
  • Never allow anyone into your business for an unannounced visit to check your electrical wiring, cable or phone lines, natural gas pipes or your appliances unless you have a scheduled appointment or are aware of a confirmed problem. Ask for identification.
  • Share this information with employees and business associates.
  • File a complaint with your local police department.

Some businesses may be hesitant to report a scam by calling the police. As an option, contact Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) at 800-422-7128.