There’s a new scam taking place in search engine listings, and it could cost customers hundreds of dollars. Utility imposters are targeting new DTE Energy customers by placing ads in search listings and trying to impersonate DTE. Some new customers who are looking to start their DTE service have clicked on these scam links and unknowingly paid money to scammers who are claiming that customers owe DTE a large deposit before their service can be turned on. DTE electric customers only pay a one-time service charge of $5 on their first bill, which is not required to be paid in advance. New customers may be assessed a deposit based on their past payment history.
The scam web pages appear as a “sponsored post” on search listings, located near the top of the page. When a customer clicks on a link to learn more about starting their service, their device automatically places a call to the scammers who then ask for the customer’s personal information and a credit or debit card to scam them.
Always be cautious when clicking on any web link. The fastest and easiest way to start, stop or move your energy service with DTE is by visiting dteenergy.com/move.
Stay alert for scammers
Using new technology, scammers are posing as DTE by using lookalike phone numbers, websites, emails and text messages. These “energy imposters” trick customers into sending money by threatening to disconnect service within a matter of hours or even minutes. Unfortunately, the threat of losing energy service often scares customers into sharing sensitive financial information, resulting in customers losing large sums of money.
We encourage customers to be vigilant by looking out for people claiming to represent DTE. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to scams. When in doubt, trust your gut and call DTE at 800.477.4747 to see if any money is owed on your account.
Customers should verify all information before making payments over the phone and learn to recognize the red flags:
Someone asks for your DTE account number
DTE DOES NOT ask customers to provide their account numbers. Customers will be asked to validate account information such as the billing zip code or last four digits of their Social Security number prior to discussing account details to protect customers’ private information. DTE DOES NOT call for payment if the account is in good standing. If a customer is behind on payments, DTE will mail and email a warning notice, which include the steps to restore an account to good standing and continue service.
DTE will never shut off service if a customer doesn’t provide immediate payment. The more aggressive the caller, the more skeptical customers should be.
Demanding a specific form of payment
DTE provides a variety of traditional payment options, but we never demand a specific type. Scammers will often request payments through unusual forms, such as Green Dot, Cash App, Western Union, Bitcoin, Zelle, or any type of gift card.
If you believe you are the victim of a scam, contact your local police immediately.