A Dearborn resident came home on Feb. 2 to find three people in his yard, claiming to be DTE workers. When he said he didn't believe them and was calling the police, they ran off.
Similarly, in the White Lake-Highland area, residents have reported in the past that "pushy" solicitors have showed up at their doors, promising to save them money on gas bills.
Do you know how to be sure that you're not being scammed by a fake utility worker?
Patch checked in with DTE Energy to get some helpful tips to avoid dangerous situations with scam artists impersonating utility workers—a felony crime. Protect yourself and your family from becoming victims by following these tips:
At the Door
- Ask for identification
All Detroit Edison and MichCon employees and contractors carry photo identification badges, and are required to display their badge if asked. We encourage you to ask for identification.
- If you are unsure about an employee's identification, or want to verify the nature of the work to be done at your home, call us at 800-477-4747.
- Do not allow people into your home who...
- Claim to offer a Detroit Edison or MichCon refund. Our employees never deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers' homes.
- Claim to sell Detroit Edison or MichCon products or services. Our employees do not engage in door-to-door sales.
- Attempt to collect a bill payment. We do not collect or accept utility bill payments at customers' homes or businesses.
- Do not pay for tree-trimming work by individuals claiming to be from Detroit Edison or a Detroit Edison contractor. We do not charge for line clearance work.
- Call the police if you believe the person at your door is a con artist posing as a utility worker.
On the Phone
- Ask for identification
Pull out your most recent DTE Energy bill and ask the caller to tell you the account number and the amount due.
- If you have caller I.D., the display will indicate that the call is from DTE Energy.
- If you suspect the call may be fraudulent, hang up and call us toll-free at 800-477-4747. Ask to be connected to a customer service representative who can confirm the status of your account and make appropriate arrangements for payment, if needed.
- If you have received a call of this nature and believe you are the victim of fraud, contact your local police immediately.
On the Web
- The Internet is increasingly being used to commit fraud and identity theft. Scammers use email, text messaging and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Never give out personal information, including Social Security, bank account or credit card numbers over the Internet to someone you do not know.
- If you suspect you have been fraudulently contacted, call us at 800-477-4747 to speak with a customer service representative who can confirm the status of your account and make appropriate arrangements for payment, if needed.
- If you believe you are the victim of an online scam, contact your local police immediately.