NIPSCO officials have confirmed that a number of its customers have been targets of a scam, including several in Warsaw.
On Tuesday, StaceyPageOnline.com was contacted by Ultra Clean Laundry on SR 15 South in Warsaw. Office manager Evelyn Rake said, “I received a call in our office from a woman claiming to be with NIPSCO. She advised that our account was scheduled for disconnection because our payment had not processed. In order to prevent the disconnection she said a payment of more $1,000 would be needed immediately and she would forward me to their payment/billing department to handle it.”
Rake asked the caller what exactly she meant by the payment had not been processed. “She tried a poor explanation of a glitch in the system – which had now been rectified – prevented the payment from posting. But it was imperative that a payment be posted to stop the disconnect process.”
When the call was lost, Rake tried to return the call to the phone number that appear on the caller ID, but received only an answering machine message.
Hayden’s Laundry on North Lake Street in Warsaw reportedly received the same call.
NIPSCO External Communications Manager Kathleen Szot, confirmed the event Rake describes has been identified as a scam. Szot provided the following statement for NIPSCO:
“Please be aware: We are receiving a number of customer reports of a scam targeting utility customers across the area. The caller threatens to disconnect service because of past due payments and instructs the victim to buy a prepaid debit/credit card as payment.
“NIPSCO will never ask you to buy a prepaid card to avoid disconnection. We are working with law enforcement to help find the source of the scam. In the meantime, if you have any doubts about the legitimacy of any call, email or visit from someone claiming to be from NIPSCO, especially one in which payment is requested, please call us: 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726).
“For more reminders on how to stay safe from scams, visit www.nipsco.com.”