CMS Energy reports widespread phone payment scam - FOX 32 News Chicago

CMS Energy reports widespread phone payment scam

Posted: Updated:

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) -- CMS Energy Corp. warned its customers Tuesday about a scam in which people pretending to represent the power company call and demand that bills be quickly paid over the phone.

The Oakland County sheriff's department reported a similar fraud scheme involving federal taxes.

The Jackson-based company's Consumers Energy unit says there have been 118 reported cases of the fraud attempt using a Green Dot prepaid card since Nov. 22. In a typical case, a person speaking either English or Spanish demands payment for a Consumers Energy bill within an hour, telling the customer to purchase a Green Dot card at drug or food stores.

"We are cautioning the public to be on guard and alert about this scam," Michael Williams, Consumers Energy's security director, said in a statement. "Our customers should know that Consumers Energy never demands payment over the phone using only a Green Dot card."

Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe said someone pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service conned a Farmington Hills resident into paying $3,854. McCabe said the victim became suspicious and balked after he got a call from someone claiming to be "Sheriff Bouchard" and threatening criminal charges unless the victim paid an additional $4,560.

"Any entity asking for payment or money in the form of a prepaid Green Dot money card is suspect," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "If you suspect you are being scammed, there is a very good chance you are. Trust your instincts and report suspicious behavior to your local authorities."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Family asks for justice after mother of three found dead next to dumpster

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:09 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:09:47 GMT
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
    When 32-year-old Katherine Gibson was a little girl, her loved ones thought, the "life" ahead of her would be long. But it wasn't."Me and my girlfriend dropped her off and she had just told us, she loved us," said Marvin Gibson, her cousin.That would be the last "I love you" that he would hear. because after Gibson's cousin dropped her off at Harper and Conner, near Bronco's Market. The day after, she was found dead. Gibson's lifeless body, discovered by a dumpster, beside the building."Layin...
  • Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Firefighter injured battling house fire in Detroit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:06:52 GMT
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
    A possible arson kept Detroit firefighters busy for much of the evening.
  • Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Detroit councilwoman dodges questions about Facebook photo

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:41:23 GMT
    Rayford Jackson was in the middle of one of the biggest public corruption scandals in Detroit history. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison for bribing city councilwoman Monica Conyers. Now, he's back -- and apparently hanging out with another city councilwoman. When councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo of them together on her Facebook page, Fox 2's M.L. Elrick couldn't help but wonder why she'd want a picture with Jackson and then post it on social media. So, he attempted a...
    Rayford Jackson was in the middle of one of the biggest public corruption scandals in Detroit history. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison for bribing city councilwoman Monica Conyers. Now, he's back -- and apparently hanging out with another city councilwoman. When councilwoman Mary Sheffield posted a photo of them together on her Facebook page, Fox 2's M.L. Elrick couldn't help but wonder why she'd want a picture with Jackson and then post it on social media. So, he attempted a...
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices