PIE&G has recently received a few member inquiries regarding suspicious phone calls or texts. Some calls come in with the caller ID showing “PIE&G”, and the caller threatens to shut off services if the member does not pay their bill immediately. The caller states they cannot accept cash or credit cards. Instead, the member is instructed to go to a local store to buy gift cards equal to the amount of the electric bill. The scammers say they will call back for the gift card numbers by 5 pm or disconnect service.
Other telephone scammers are calling or texting members with threats to remove the meter and not replace it unless $1,000 is paid immediately.
PIE&G wants you to know that we do not initiate these types of calls or texts. Telephone scammers often manipulate the caller ID to make it appear as if a utility company is making the call — commonly referred to as caller ID spoofing. Telephone scammers try to steal your money or personal information. Scams may come through phone calls from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Scam callers often make false promises, such as opportunities to buy products, invest your money, or receive free product trials. They may also offer you money through free grants and lotteries. Some scammers may call with threats of jail or lawsuits and utility shut off, if you don’t pay them immediately.
Most PIE&G member communication is in writing – by postcard, letter, in our newsletter in your monthly billing (“The Spotlight”), and in Country Lines magazine. Also, if you enrolled in PIE&G’s SmartHub notifications, we will communicate electronically according to your preferences (text or email) regarding your account. We also post news and articles on our website (pieg.com) and on Facebook.
Occasionally, we will make automated recorded calls to update you regarding planned power outages, power restorations, planned work in your area, or for payment reminders. If PIE&G must initiate phone contact, we will identify ourselves.
PIE&G will never call you to ask for personal information such as bank or credit card numbers or your social security number. We offer secure phone or online payment options that are only initiated by you. Many members simply mail their payment to us.
Finally, our Energy Optimization program partners will occasionally contact members on our behalf about special energy efficiency promotions being offered. They may send a pre-approved letter or postcard, and they may follow up with a phone call.
If you have any suspicions about the legitimacy of any phone call or written communications you may receive, please don’t fall victim to a possible scam. Instead, hang up and call us to verify if the contact is legitimate.
If you have any questions about your PIE&G account, please call us directly to inquire. We’re available Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm at (989) 733-8515 or toll- free 1-800-423-6634. We’re here to help.
To Report a Scam: You may file a complaint online with the Michigan Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at www.michigan.gov/ag or by calling 877-765-8388.