INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) has received an increase in reports about payment scams. The uptick comes at a time when IPL is proactively reaching out to customers to provide flexible bill payment options, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Customers report they’ve been contacted by someone claiming to represent IPL and threatening electric service disconnection. One of the most common types of utility scams involves customers receiving unsolicited telephone, electronic or in-person communications by an individual claiming to represent the utility. The scammer demands payment immediately or service will be disconnected within 30 minutes or soon thereafter.
IPL last week announced new payment options for residential and business customers experiencing temporary financial hardship due to COVID-19. Customers with overdue account balances may receive a proactive phone call from an IPL customer service agent offering payment extensions of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. If customers receive an automated or proactive phone call from IPL, they should listen to ensure the following information is shared:
- IPL is informing customers that temporary new payment extensions are available to help customers pay off their past due balance. The call will provide a specific past due balance that should match the current amount due. Customers can immediately verify this information by signing into the online account at IPLpower.com.
- New extensions are part of IPL’s response to help customers facing financial challenges, due to COVID-19. Disconnections for nonpayment have been suspended since March. IPL will soon transition to its normal collections process. Customers who wish to prevent disconnection of service once collections resume in mid-August should press option 3 to access IPL’s automated system, which details payment extension options.
IPL reminds customers of our normal process for requesting and receiving customer information for billing purposes:
- IPL representatives do not demand immediate payment and threaten electric service disconnection. Any IPL customer with questions regarding disconnection should visit IPLpower.com or call 317.261.8222.
- If IPL does call a customer, our representative will have specific and accurate information related to the customer’s billing account. IPL does not require nor recommend a specific payment method or type. We offer a variety of payment options that are detailed over the phone with IPL agents and customers.
- Do not provide personal information or comply with requests for payment unless you are confident with whom you’re speaking to. Customers are asked to notify IPL if they receive a call and are unsure that the caller is truly an IPL employee. Call IPL at 317.261.8222 if you’re a residential customer or 317.261.8444 if you’re a business customer to verify any questions you may have related to IPL bill payment and collection.
Scams are becoming more sophisticated during times of stress. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to a caller ID display to disguise their identity. Scammers often use neighbor spoofing so it appears that an incoming call is coming from a local number, or spoof a number from a company or a government agency that is known and trusted. These scammers use scripts to try to steal customer’s money or valuable personal information, which can be used in other fraudulent activity.
If you suspect you are a scam victim, please call your local police department non-emergency number immediately to report your experience. Additionally, please share this information with friends and colleagues who could potentially become victims of these scams.
About Indianapolis Power & Light Company and AES
Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an AES Company, provides retail electric service to more than 500,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana communities surrounding Marion County. During its long history, IPL has supplied its customers with some of the lowest-cost, most reliable power in the country. For more information about the company, please visit www.IPLpower.com or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global power company. We provide affordable, sustainable energy to 14 countries through our diverse portfolio of distribution businesses as well as thermal and renewable generation facilities. Our workforce is committed to operational excellence and meeting the world’s changing power needs. Our 2019 revenues were $10 billion and we own and manage $34 billion in total assets. To learn more, please visit www.aes.com. Follow AES on Twitter @TheAESCorp.
Indianapolis Power & Light Company