The Crusader Newspaper Group

Nicor Gas offers tips to protect customers during Utility Scam Awareness Day

The safety of our customers is a top priority for Nicor Gas, and that includes protecting their personal information. Utility scams are on the rise and it is more important than ever for customers to be vigilant and know what steps to take to prevent themselves or their families from falling victim.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, utility scams cost American consumers more than $2.3 billion last year. Nicor Gas is joining 150 U.S. and Canadian energy companies marking Nov. 16 as Utility Scam Awareness Day. The purpose is to raise awareness of and help educate consumers of the tactics commonly used by scammers. Many natural gas, electric and water customers throughout the country are being targeted by impostor utility scams each day.

In recent years, scammers have gotten deceptively creative with increased calls, texts, emails and in-person tactics, contacting natural gas and electric customers asking for immediate payment to avoid service disconnection.

Nicor Gas strongly encourages customers to stay vigilant of potential scam activity such as:

  • Threats to disconnect their natural gas service if payment is not made.
  • Requests that payments be made from a specific method, such as a debit card, prepaid card, checking account, cryptocurrency or to send funds via a mobile app to make a bill payment.
  • Claims they have overpaid and their bank account or credit card number is needed for a refund.
  • Requests to vacate their home so that a meter or other natural gas equipment can be replaced.
  • Suggestions through social media that their bill will be covered by a charity after they make a partial payment by way of a wire transfer.

We hold ourselves accountable to our customers first and foremost and will never use aggressive or intimidating tactics to pressure customers into making a payment toward their natural gas bill. Nicor Gas customers can expect clear, open and honest communication from the company:

  • By phone: When a customer service representative contacts a customer by phone regarding the status of their account or to discuss payment, they will identify themselves as a Nicor Gas employee. To verify legitimacy, customers can request that the representative confirm information about their account that only they and the company would know, for example:
  • The date of last payment
  • The amount of the last payment
  • Account number
  • By email:We will never ask for account or credit card information in an email. Customers can safely access and make changes to their account information and payment methods using our My Account online portal.
  • In-person:When a field service representative visits your home or business, they’ll wear branded uniforms that include navy pants, hats and jackets, a variety of beige shirts and neon yellow safety vest. Employees will always provide Nicor Gas identification.

As an additional safety measure, customers can sign up to receive Keep Me Informed appointment status text messages that include a photo of the technician assigned to perform work at their property.

Suspect fraud?

Customers who suspect or experience fraud should contact local authorities, and then call the customer care center phone number listed on their billing statement. Customers who want to confirm that a Nicor Gas representative is scheduled to perform work at their premises should contact the customer care center at 888.Nicor4U (888-642-6748).

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