Spurred by customer complaints--including at least two Chesterton
restaurants--the Northern Indiana Public Service Company is warning
customers about a bill payment scam in which victims are asked to purchase a
prepaid debit card to settle an overdue balance.
According to NIPSCO, multiple customers have reported receiving unsolicited
phone calls from persons falsely claiming to represent NIPSCO. Those
scammers threaten disconnection of the customer’s electric service if an
immediate payment is not made.
They then direct the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card--many reports
specifically reference a “Green Dot Debit Card”--and call back with a
receipt and PIN, giving the scammers access to the card’s funds.
Both residential and business customers have been targeted by the scammers.
A number of reports have come from Spanish-speaking customers.
In an effort to keep customers safe from scams, NIPSCO reminds customers:
¥NIPSCO never asks for customers who are behind on payments to purchase a
prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. Customers have the following
payment options: on line, by phone, by mail, or in person at one of NIPSCO’s
authorized payment locations.
¥Never give personal information, including Social Security numbers and
banking information, to unconfirmed sources. NIPSCO only asks for a Social
Security number when a customer is applying for new service.
¥If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any programs or offers claiming
to be affiliated with NIPSCO, please call our 24-Hour Customer Service
Center at (800) 464-7726.
¥Legitimate bill assistance programs are available to qualifying customers.
For more information on these offerings, visit NIPSCO.com/PaymentAssistance