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Utility Shut-off Scam
Scammers posing as electric company employees are calling, texting, and even going door to door threatening Cuyahoga County residents with immediate utilities shutoffs if they don’t pay. Scammers also may claim people are eligible for discounts and refunds.
How to protect yourself:
- Don’t panic. Utilities don’t make surprise calls about shutoffs. They will always mail or email formal disconnection notices.
- Be skeptical of the caller ID. Scammers may spoof their numbers or use the name of your utility company. If the caller ID indicates spam or scam, don’t answer.
- Disconnections are not scheduled at night, on weekends or holidays.
- Know that scammers may ask you to pay with retail gift cards, Bitcoin, or reloadable cards (like MoneyPak). Utilities don’t accept these payments, which are difficult or impossible to reverse.
- Never give any account or personal information to someone who calls or knocks on your door. Do not show your bill to solicitors. Utility companies will not offer you discounts and then ask for personal information.
- If you’re worried about your account, contact your utility using the number from your bill.
Report suspicious calls and emails to Scam Squad at 216-443-SCAM (7226) or online at cuyahogacounty.us/scamsquad
The Department of Consumer Affairs’ mission is to make sure people who live or shop in Cuyahoga County get what they pay for.