INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – It seems like nowadays scam calls are something we can’t avoid.
Every year, scammers seem to get more clever and come up with sneaky tricks such as changing their number to mirror a company like IPL.
Suzanne Lake ran into this issue recently at her business, Ray's Automotive.
The call she received came from a number identical to IPL's. She thought the call had something to do with her electricity but soon found out it was another scam.
"Anytime somebody calls you at random and wants money from you and says that they are representing a utility company, thank them, hang up, and then call your utility company," Lake said.
When she called IPL, she says they weren't surprised.
The Better Business Bureau in central Indiana isn’t shocked either.
"What they do is call a business and threaten that their power is going to be shut off unless they pay and ask for immediate payment," said Tim Maniscalo, the president & CEO for the BBB.
Scammers are using apps to change their number, and the only way to avoid becoming a victim is to stop and think.
"Think clearly about it and say, 'Hey, that’s not the way power companies work.' If you do owe them money, they are going to give you many warnings before they take any actions such as cutting off your power," Maniscalo said.
Once you give them your money, it’s hard to catch the suspect.
"These people, number one, they are very sophisticated. Number two, a lot of times they reside outside the country, so it’s very hard for our law enforcement to catch them," Maniscalo said.
Lake says if she can stop one person from being scammed, it’s worth speaking out.
"Just take the time, just a moment to think. Think and it could save you thousands of dollars," Lake said.
An IPL spokesperson said if they call, they’ll have specific account information.
They also don’t require or strongly recommend a specific payment method, especially not prepaid debit cards.
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