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We Energies reports uptick in scam calls; 400 in one week

Posted at 9:46 PM, Mar 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-31 23:33:36-04

MILWAUKEE -- A scam taking advantage of energy customers seems to be ramping up with fraudulent calls cheating people out of thousands of dollars.

We Energies received 600 reports of scam calls this month -- 400 of them just last week.

The scammers are targeting both businesses and residents.

Terri Dreikosen is one of them, who's frustrated by the scam calls she gets at Engler Roofing and Siding, a small business in Waukesha.

"It was a recording that said please remain on the line, we have an important message about your account," she said.

Having an account with We Energies she thought nothing of it, until they said she owed $3,000 and that she was eligible to reduce her interest rate.

"I had a credit on the account of about $400 and something at that point, so I knew it was not a legitimate call," Dreikosen said.

Others may realize that too late.

We Energies saw six customers lose a total of $4,000 to the scam this month.

"It could be a scammer in another country in a boiler room, but your caller ID will say it's We Energies," Lisa Schiller of the Better Business Bureau said.

Schiller has a few reminders next time you pick up your phone.

She says a company like We Energies will never threaten you to pay a bill.

They'll never ask you to pay by a gift card, money order or wire transfer.

Overall, if you're suspicious - call We Energies directly.

"Just verify. If you do owe money you know they'll work with you to pay that bill," Schiller said.

For Dreikosen, these calls are more than just an annoyance.

"The reality is I'm missing legitimate calls either from a homeowner that needs to discuss something or new business," Dreikosen said.

Thankfully, she didn't fall for it, and she hopes others don't either.

"It's a shame that it's bad apples ruining it for everybody," she said.

If you have any concerns or want to report a scam, you can call We Energies at 1-800-242-9137. You can also report one to BBB here.