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

EAGLE RIVER - Carter Heller considers one room in his high school a home away from home.  The Northland Pines junior spends most class periods -- and even district in-service days -- using the 3-D printers, vinyl cutters, and other machinery in the fab lab. Tuesday morning, Heller learned how his second "home" is about to grow thanks to a $25,000 grant.

"Everything about it makes you want to be in here," Heller said.  "It allows our capabilities as a school to expand a lot."

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Children with special needs often can't enjoy the delights of a playground. Wausau's Josiah Hoerter's dying wish was to see a wheelchair-friendly playground in his own backyard. However, after he lost his life to a rare genetic disorder, MECP2 duplication syndrome, his family decided his wish should live on.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - Dealing with memory loss or caring for someone suffering with it can be challenging. 

One woman wants to make sure the Tomahawk community has a place where those people can receive the support they need.

+ Read More

Play Video

PARK FALLS - You won't find store bought eggs or bagels at a new restaurant in Park Falls. 

You'll recognize the sunnyside up eggs, but they don't come from a grocery store. 

None of these ingredients at Valerie Mae's are store bought. 

Owner Jacob Griepentog literally takes fresh ingredients from his family's farm and serves them every day at his restaurant. 

 "The fresh mint. I pick it up and I smell it. And all a sudden my brain is creating dishes I want to eat, and thus I want other people to eat," said Griepentrog. 

Jacob created his not-so-traditional menu using the same mindset his parents have at the family farm.

Curry tree leaves, lemon grass, and fig trees are some of the other exotic plants grown at the family farm.

And at some point, they'll be on the Valerie Mae's menu, too. 

What Jacob can't get at his family's farm, he turns to other local farmers.

"I see 45 days, 50 days, 90 days, 120 days of a farmer's life: wind, rain and weather." 

Jacob says farm to table style dining might be a little intimidating at first, but it's worth a try. 

After all, the menu changes week to week. So if you don't like it, just wait. 

"I spend hours, maybe a week testing them preparing them, whatever the season is." 

+ Read More

Play Video

LINCOLN COUNTY - WARNING: Some of the above video is disturbing

In late February, a Lincoln County Deputy shot and killed a man who was shooting at him.

On Tuesday, the Lincoln County District Attorney said Deputy Sam Steckbauer was justified to use deadly force.

The DA made this decision after an extensive investigation by the State's Department of Justice.

The DOJ released video taken from the squad car footage, police scanner traffic, and a 911 call that helps explain what happened that night.

It started with a call from a nervous driver, and it ended with the death of 40-year-old Shawn Igers.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - The trial for a Vilas County man accused of sexual assault entered its second day.

Thirty-six-year-old Rodney Teets faces three charges of first degree sexual assault.

The woman who accuses him of those crimes testified on the witness stand on Tuesday. Newswatch 12 is not identifying the woman.

The woman started telling her story, often through tears, of how the July 2015 night events unfolded. She testified while she was driving Teets to his home, she noticed he was holding a knife in his hand near his driver seat headrest. Then she started to describe the alleged assault, showing pictures of her car and identifying what she wore that night.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - A family lost their pet over a month ago, but they don't plan to stop searching for their dog anytime soon.

In fact, the family is offering a hefty reward for Sasha's safe return.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here