MERRILLVILLE — Scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic are on the rise.
Calls from scammers to homes and businesses posing as NIPSCO employees continue to occur — an issue impacting many energy companies around the United States.
Recent, and common reports from NIPSCO residential and business customers state they have received calls and texts from people claiming to be NIPSCO employees and demanding payment to avoid their service being disconnected.
However, the company wants to emphasize that NIPSCO does not demand immediate payment by meeting us in person or using a specific type of payment method. If a customer receives a suspicious call like this, they should hang up and immediately contact NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726 to check on the status of their account.
Customers also should NOT call any number they are given.
Because of the financial impact on customers associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, NIPSCO voluntarily suspended shutoffs for non-payment and waived late fees in mid-March, prior to the issuance of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive order. When the executive order expires, NIPSCO plans to continue suspending shutoffs for non-payment until further notice to provide additional help to customers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NIPSCO will provide advanced notice and communications following any changes to these decisions and will continue to work with customers on most flexible arrangements.
Assistance is available and to learn more, visit NIPSCO.com or ask to speak with a representative.
Additional tips for customers to avoid potential scams:
• Call NIPSCO first – If unsure about a phone call, email, program, offer or person claiming to be affiliated with NIPSCO, call the 24-hour Customer Care Center at 1-800-464-7726.
• Guard personal information – Never give personal information, including NIPSCO account number, Social Security number and/or banking information to unconfirmed sources. NIPSCO will only ask for a Social Security number when establishing new service or verifying a customer’s identity.
• Know the payment options – NIPSCO will never ask for a pre-paid debit card or money gram as a payment method. To more easily spot a potential scam, learn more about the payment options at NIPSCO.com/bills-and-payments.
• Never agree to meet in person – Some scammers ask customers to meet them in person to make payments with cash or prepaid cards, which people should avoid.
What to do if someone visits your home or business:
• Ask to see ID – NIPSCO employees and contractors carry photo ID badges and will gladly show it upon request.
• Use caution with cash – NIPSCO employees do not collect cash payments nor deliver cash refunds or rebates to customers. Refrain from sending cash through the mail to prevent loss or theft.
For more information on authorized, secure payment methods and locations, visit NIPSCO.com/bills-and-payments.