Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Utility bills scam hitting customers who might be behind on paymentsSubmitted: 04/16/2013

Lane Kimble
Assistant News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - A seemingly endless winter made for a tough year on utility bills. Some people are behind on payments and that could mean your provider shuts off services starting this week.

The latest scam is taking advantage of customers who find themselves stuck in that position.

Wisconsin Public Service customers say someone will call claiming to be from the company. They'll request money for unpaid accounts, claiming services will be shut down if you don't pay.

The scammer will suggest you buy a prepaid debit card or arrange for a cash pickup. WPS Community Relations Leader Leah Van Zile says those should be warning signs.

"They would not be offended at all if somebody says, 'You know, I'm not sure about this, I'm going to call back in,'" Van Zile said. "It's just a part of safety nowadays in the world that we operate."

What about if you actually are behind on your bill? Van Zile says there are still options to keep your lights and heat going.

All it takes is a phone call or a click.

"There may still be some dollars available for energy assistance, so if some of those folks haven't taken advantage of that program and they are income eligible, we really encourage them to contact the social services office for their county and see if there's some crisis dollars available," Van Zile said.

If you do think a scammer has called you, make sure to write down as much information about the caller as possible.

That includes the date and time, phone number and any description of the caller you can gather.

We have a link to the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program below.

Related Weblinks:
Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

SCHOFIELD - Normally when we think of recycling, bottles and glass come to mind. But on Saturday, several hundred expired and damaged car seats were recycled at the Schofield Fire Department.

'Safe Kids Wausau' hosted the event so people could drop off old car seats.

Coordinators say almost all car seats expire after six years. Some people don't realize expired car seats could be dangerous.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - People from all over the world showed their support for Earth Day on Saturday.

More than 800 people in the Wausau community did their part to make the community a cleaner place.

Over the last eight years, the Ghidorzi Green & Clean event has helped get rid of more than 17 tons of trash from the area.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Some 10,000 people marched in Washington D.C. on Saturday in support of science. 
 
The march was, in part, a response to some of the current administration's proposed budget cuts.

The event expanded far beyond D.C. with more than 600 marches taking place worldwide. One of those marches was in the Northwoods.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - When times get rough, most of us turn to our families for support. But sometimes during that struggle a whole new family is found.

Looking through old picture albums brings back memories for most of us.

"You just embrace those moments. I was thankful she could walk at that time," said Terry Vullings as she looked at pictures of her daughter, Megan, using a walker at the age of four. "You take those good things however they come."

+ Read More

WISCONSIN - MADISON, Wis. (AP) -  A new report from the American Society of Civil Engineers says Wisconsin will have $7 billion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure needs in the next 20 years.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports the state is already facing water problems, such as the pollution of nearly one-third of private wells in Kewaunee County and the possible contamination of nearly 2,000 La Crosse County wells.



+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - People often reflect on what they can do to help the environment on Earth Day. 

There were several Earth Day-related events going on in the Northwoods on Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - The Rhinelander National Guard Armory hosted its first multi- county Veterans Benefit on Friday.

The expo provided information to help veterans with hearing loss, homelessness, senior living, heating assistance, and filing for VA pensions, among other issues.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here