STERLING HEIGHTS (WWJ) – Sterling Heights police say a resident was scammed out of hundreds of dollars this week by a thief posing as a DTE Energy employee.
The victim — who lives in the area of 14 Mile Road and Mound — said he received a call from someone who told him his online payment for service at his Detroit business didn’t go through, and that he needed to pay up to keep the lights on.
The man did as directed, following the criminal’s instructions to get a $500 prepaid credit card and turn over some financial information. Later, the victim received two more phone calls from the same person informing him that he needed to make a two additional payments, totaling $700.
The resident then called DTE and learned he was a fraud victim.
DTE Energy urges all customers to take the following steps when asked to make a payment over the phone:
- Ask for identification
Pull out your most recent DTE Energy bill and ask the caller to tell you the account number and the amount due.
- If you have caller I.D., the display will indicate that the call is from DTE Energy.
- If you suspect the call may be fraudulent, hang up and call DTE toll-free at 800-477-4747. Ask to be connected to a customer service representative who can confirm the status of your account and make appropriate arrangements for payment, if needed.
- If you have received a call of this nature and believe you are the victim of fraud, contact your local police immediately.
If someone comes to your door claiming to work for DTE, ask to see a company I.D. If you’re unsure about an employee’s identification, you are urged to call DTE customer service at 800-477-4747 to verify.