What you can do to keep your money, identity out the hands of scammers

Scammers pretend to be with DTE Energy

LANSING, Mich. – Scammers are repeatedly using the same tactics to steal money and personal information from their victims in Michigan.

The scammers often call consumers and pose as their bank or utility company. They then request payments or personal information.

“It is frustrating that these criminals continue to find new ways to exploit unsuspecting residents, but DIFS is committed to providing Michiganders with resources and recommendations on how to keep their personal and financial information safe from predators,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Even if your phone’s caller ID displays a legitimate business’s name, you should be wary of anyone calling you asking for payment or personal information of any kind. If you think the call might be legitimate, hang up and call the number on your billing statement or other documentation from the company before giving out any information or making a payment.”

DTE Energy customers targeted

Scammers have been pretending to be DTE Energy and contacting customers via text message, then by phone call.

The scammers ask the customer to make missed payments through a website, often using cash transfer apps such as Zelle.

DTE Energy will never contact you through text.

If DTE Energy calls you, you should hang up and call their customer service line directly at 800-477-4747.

Avoid scams by following these tips

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services has some steps you can follow to avoid falling victim to scams.

  • Never give personal or account information to anyone calling you, even if they claim it’s for “verification purposes.” You should only share that information if you reached out to the organization or company first.
  • If the person calls you says there is a problem that must be solved immediately, hang up. Call a number for the company that you have verified. You can usually find trusted numbers on your debit or cred cards, account statements or mail from the company. Do not ever call the numbers you received via text message or voicemails.
  • Use multifactor authentication measures in addition to a password to log into accounts, such as a security code sent via text message or email. Do not share that code with anyone no matter what.

What to do if you’ve been scammed

If you believe you’ve been scammed, you should contact your bank or the company that the compromised account is with.

If you feel the company did not appropriately handle your complaint, contact DIFS by calling 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by completing an online complaint form.

Read: More scam coverage

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.