Authorities warn of utility payment scam

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is warning of a new version of a utility scam that is making its rounds in the community.

Scam callers are claiming to be from Duke Energy and told one victim that they would be shutting off power in a half hour unless immediately paid a past due amount.

Because scammers are able to spoof phone numbers on Caller ID, the call may even appear to be coming from the utility company. Officials say that the utility companies will not make such demands over the phone and urge you to hang up and call the utility directly from a number such as the one on your monthly bill.

Experts also say that legitimate companies will never require you to buy gift cards or prepaid debit cards at a store in order to pay off a bill.