West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urges consumers to beware of impostor scams, particularly ones involving callers who claim to represent utility companies.

Impostors have been known to pose as electric, cable/satellite television and public service district employees to steal money and personal information with the threat of service interruption.

“Scammers will go to any lengths to deprive people of their hard-earned money,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “It’s very important to confirm the caller legitimately represents the utility before authorizing payment.”

Consumers should be wary of any caller who demands prepaid debit cards, such as Green Dot cards, as a form of payment. The same goes for callers who give inadequate notice of an impending disconnect or interruption in service. Both should be a red flag.

Consumers also should follow these tips:

  • Never give personal information via phone, mail or internet without verifying the recipient.
  • Be wary of anyone demanding immediate payment.
  • Write down all necessary contact information for the caller.
  • Call the utility’s legitimate customer service number to verify payment is due. This information can be found on a monthly bill or the company’s legitimate website.

Anyone believing they have been the victim of a utility scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239, or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.