MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- State officials are warning Wisconsin businesses about increasing reports of scammers calling with threats to cancel utility service unless immediate payment is made.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Monday that the con artists call a business and pretend to represent a local utility company. They tell the business that they face a shutdown of services due to non-payment of bills or for required meter upgrades or repairs.
The scammers demand payment within hours by wire transfer or with a prepaid debit card.
The state says utility companies will never call and threaten immediate cancellation, nor will they require a wire transfer or payment by prepaid debit card in order to continue service.