DALLAS – Atmos Energy recently became aware of an ongoing “Search Engine Phishing” operation, where cybercriminals use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to place a fake website into a browser’s top search results.
Any user who clicks on one of these “spoofed” websites will be redirected to what looks like a legitimate Atmos Energy page, but that fake page will feature a fake customer service number and other false information. If a customer calls the fake customer service number, they may be asked to provide login credentials or other sensitive information that the scammers can leverage to compromise bank, credit card, or other accounts belonging to the same customer.
Telephone scams are also on the rise, including one where impostors call customers directly and offer a discount on their Atmos Energy bill if they pay immediately over the phone. As a reminder:
- Atmos Energy will never ask for payment using prepaid debit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrency, or unauthorized third-party payment or mobile application.
- If you ever have concerns about the legitimacy of a call, simply hang up and call Atmos Energy customer service at 888.286.6700.
- Payment for an Atmos Energy bill should be made through the online Account Center or through other authorized payment methods.
- Atmos Energy will provide multiple notices and work to assist customers with payment plans and assistance options before any service interruptions take place.
- Unless there is an emergency, Atmos Energy employees will not call before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m. Central time.
“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 Kelly Biegler, 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.”
Customers who suspect fraud or who feel threatened during contact with a scammer should contact local law enforcement authorities and Atmos Energy Customer Service at 888.286.6700, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central time.
For more information and additional tips to protect against impostor utility scams:
- 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