Scammers threatening to shut off utilities if customers don't pay artificial balance

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CASSOPOLIS, Mich. (WNDU) – A Michigan utility company is warning customers about a scam in which people pretending to be from the utility threaten to disconnect service if the customer doesn't pay an artificial balance.

Midwest Energy and Communications, which provides electric, internet and propane in southwest Michigan, says callers are identifying themselves as agents of the company and alerting customers to high account balances. The scammers then threaten to disconnect customers' service if they do not pay.

MEC says that when its true customer service personnel call about account or billing issues, the caller ID will read 269-445-1000, the cooperative's local Cassopolis number.

The scam calls are coming from a toll-free phone number.

Anyone receiving calls from potential scammers is encouraged to contact MEC at 800-492-5989. The company will then verify the inquiry.