DETROIT -

DTE Energy is warning homeowners and business owners about a scam and what you can do to avoid being a victim. 

The scam works like this: DTE impostors target those late on payments. The impostors then try to have you pay the bill either over the phone or in person.

What to do when someone is at your door claiming to be a DTE worker:

· Ask for identification
All DTE Electric (formerly Detroit Edison) or DTE Gas (formerly MichCon) employees and contractors carry photo identification badges, and are required to display their badge if asked. You are encouraged 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 DTE at 800.477.4747.

· Do not allow people into your home who...

o Claim to offer a DTE Electric or DTE Gas refund. DTE employees never deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers' homes.

o Claim to sell DTE Electric or DTE Gas products or services. DTE employees do not engage in door-to-door sales.

o Attempt to collect a bill payment. DTE does 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 DTE Electric or a DTE Electric 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 DTE 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 web 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 DTE 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.