​​​​​​Public Utility Scams

Recognize and Stop Utility Bill Scams

In a public utility scam, criminals pose as utility company representatives and try to steal customers’ money or personal information. As a member of Utilities United Against Scams​, CenterPoint Energy is part of a powerful force for raising utility sc​​am awareness and preventing fraud. Together, we can stop public utility scammers from stealing your money and identity.

Tips for Spotting Utility Scams​​

  1. DO NOT communicate or interact with suspicious phone calls, emails or text messages. Scammers can manipulate caller ID, but you can be​​ sure you’re truly speaking with CenterPoint Energy by hanging up and calling the phone number on your bill.
  2. Ask to see identification before allowing a utility worker near you or into your residence. You can always call CenterPoint Energy and ask if an employee was authorized to visit your home.  
  3. Our phone agents will NEVER personally request banking or credit card info over the phone. INSTEAD, we transfer customers to an Interactive Voice Response system to collect payment info.
  4. Our agents will NEVER ask for payment via:
    • ​Cash
    • Money wire transfers
    • Prepaid debit cards (Green Dot cards)
    • Gift cards (Amazon, etc.)
    • PayPal, Venmo, Square Pay or Apple Pay
  5. We will NOT disconnect your services without first:
    • ​​Mailing you a bill, noting your account is now overdue.
    • If the balance remains unpaid, we will mail you a DISCONNECTION NOTICE, stating the approximate disconnection date and time. ​
  6. Some customers are more likely to be targeted by scammers. Be especially proactive in alerting these members of your community about public utility scams:
    • ​Senior citizens
    • ​Non-native English-speakers

Get details about known scams at ​Common Energy Scams​.

​What to Do if You’re Scammed by Utility Fraud:

  1. ​Hang up the phone or close the door (to end communication). If suspected scammers are currently at your home and your safety feels threatened, call 911.
  2. Call local law enforcement (if you haven’t already) to report the fraud.
  3. Call your utility provider using the phone number on your utility bill to and report the suspected scam (Contact CenterPoint Energy).
  4. Call your bank or financial institutions to report the incident and minimize damage.
  5. Report the incident to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
    1. ​​​​You may also report utility scams to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
    2. For internet scams, also file a complaint with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at the Internet Crime Complaint Center​.
  6. ​​Share info about utility scam attempts with neighbors, friends and family members. Social media is especially effective to quickly spread the word and prevent scammer success.

Resources to Fight Utility Scammers:

State-Specific Resources (in CenterPoint Energy markets):