Energy scams are a growing problem across the country. Shady “sales representatives” are using clever manipulation tactics to gain access to your personal information or make changes to your current energy plan, sometimes without your knowledge. Fortunately, you can avoid frauds and scams by learning how to identify false claims and understanding how these scams work.
Use the tips and information below to help you learn how to avoid scams from fraudulent energy companies and ensure you have a reliable service plan.
How Energy Scams Work
There are several types of energy scams, and unfortunately, we can’t list them all. However, there is typically a common thread of suspicious behavior you can watch out for.
If someone shows up at your door asking for one of the following things or making one of the claims below, it is most likely a scam.
- Offering to restore your power more quickly during an outage
There is no such thing as priority power restoration. It will come back on when the problem is fixed.
- Asking to perform a home inspection
Never allow a stranger to enter your home without proper identification, especially if you are not expecting them. They may be checking out your home for a later robbery.
- Asking to view your current utility bill so they can offer a lower rate
Showing them your utility bill just gives them your account number. With this, they may be able to switch your energy provider without your permission or knowledge.
- Asking you to pay a bill or fee in person right away to avoid losing power or gas
You may receive phone calls, emails, mail, and/or text messages reminding you to pay your bill, but you’re not likely to have a representative at your door to pick up payment. To make a payment, contact the company using the information on your bill.
- Job offers
If someone knocks on your door and asks if you would like to work from home for their company, tell them no. They don’t need employees badly enough to solicit random strangers with no experience.
- Offering refunds and “today only” deals
Any monetary transaction or exchange of personal information is risky. They may pressure you to sign right away to prevent you from reading all the terms and conditions.
How to Avoid Scams
In addition to practicing reasonable caution, there are specific things you can do to avoid frauds and scams involving energy companies.
- Know who your current energy providers are.
- Ask in-person representatives to show verification of their identity and employer.
- Protect all your personal information, including energy account numbers.
- Know the regulations for your state, such as how long you have to cancel after signing up for a service.
- Be thorough. If you do discuss energy plans with a salesman, get all the information. Find out how long the deal will last, what the price will be afterward, how to cancel, and any potential fees.
- Communicate with friends, family, and neighbors about potential problems and be aware of current scams in your area.
- Report any suspicious behavior to your energy provider, inform the police, and file a complaint.
How to Find a Reliable Provider
To find a reliable energy provider, begin by gathering some basic information. Check past bills to get an idea of how much energy you typically use, look up which companies provide service in your area, and find out what rates, deals, and other benefits each of these companies offers.
If you’re looking for an energy supplier that’s always looking to provide innovative solutions, then check out the Kiwi Energy plans. We’re a great resource for any questions you may have about this type of service. We also encourage consumers to look for ways to reduce energy usage. Check out these great energy-saving tips to lower your monthly bills and preserve natural resources.
In addition to learning how to avoid scams, learn more about Kiwi Energy plans, tips, and charitable outreach. Choose a company you trust to provide consistently great service and innovative energy options.