According to Atmos Energy, a “search engine phishing” scheme has been revealed. When customers search for “Atmos” online, the online cybercriminals are using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to place fake websites as the top search result.
Company representatives indicated that telephone scams are also on the rise.
“The most effective way to combat this recent increase in scam attempts is through education, awareness and extreme caution anytime someone contacts you about a utility bill payment,” said Bobby Morgan, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs. “In addition to online and telephone scams, beware of impostors demanding payment at your door. Always ask for an employee’s identification badge which displays name, photograph, and Atmos Energy logo. Our employees will not collect payments in person. If you suspect an impostor, call our customer service number at 888.286.6700 to verify the employee’s identity and contact local authorities.”
The energy company provides gas services to over 269,000 residents in Mississippi.
If someone clicks on one of the “spoofed” scam websites, it could look very similar to a real Atmos Energy webpage. However, it will feature a fake customer service number and other false information about the company.
If a customer receives a phone call from Atmos that seems suspect, know that Atmos Energy will never ask for payment using a prepaid debit card, gift card, cryptocurrency, or unauthorized third-party payment or mobile application. They will also never call before 7:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Central Time.
Customers should only pay their bill through a logged in online account or other authorized methods.
If you have concerns regarding the legitimacy of a call, hang up and call Atmos Energy customer service at 888.286.6700.
For more information on how to protect yourself from scammers, do the following:
Visit the Atmos Energy website at atmosenergy.com/scams.
Visit the Utilities United Against Scams website at www.utilitiesunited.org.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/
Follow Utilities United Against Scams on Twitter and Facebook, and join the conversation by using #StopScams.