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Energy scams can occur when deceptive marketing and fraudulent selling techniques are used to initiate an unauthorized switch of the energy service into long term contracts – up to four years and at a higher price, without the consent of the customer.  This scam is carried out by individuals through methods that can include door-to-door visits, phone calls and electronic communications.  

  • ‘Slamming’ is one of the most common types of scams used today. Slamming is the unauthorized switch of an account from one service (utility or contracted service) into a new contract with another supplier.  Slamming occurs when an individual gains unauthorized access to a customer’s contact and utility account information; this information is then used to enroll the service location into a supplier contract without the customer’s knowledge or consent.  The personal or business information can be obtained through an unknowing phone call utilizing voice authorization, or email, where a customer clicks on a link and electronically signs a document.
  • Identity theft is another scam to watch out for. Scammers may pretend to be your utility company, either by calling you on the phone or knocking on your door. They will likely ask for personal information from you, such as your date of birth or social security number. It’s important to be cautious and verify their identity before providing any sensitive information.  If in doubt, contact your own energy provider or contact yourself.
  • Energy contract fraud is another type of scam to be aware of. Some energy scammers will deceive you about the terms of the contract, such as lying about the total energy rate, the fixed components of the rate, and even the contract term.

It’s essential to note that anyone can fall victim to energy scams, but residential customers are more vulnerable since they are typically less aware of energy deregulation. However, business owners are not exempt from these scams either, and some of the largest commercial energy consumers in the country have been victims of energy scams. As a business owner, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs of energy scams to safeguard your accounts and protect yourself.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself against energy scams:

  1. Pay attention to your bills: Regularly review your utility bills to spot any discrepancies.
  2. Don’t ignore utility notices:  Utility notices are generated when a supplier switch occurs and are the first line of defense if something changes with your accounts.
  3. Verify any callers or requests: Never give out personal details to people you don’t know or can’t verify.
  4. Know your suppliers: Understand your contractual terms, end dates, and who your legitimate energy suppliers are.
  5. Make sure your colleagues are aware:scammers may try several lines of inquiry to access accounts, particularly for larger business. It’s important to make sure that any colleagues who may handle energy management, bills or payments – across accounting, purchasing, operations, management, and more – are aware of these guidelines.
  6. Seek trusted partners: Consider working with reputable energy management partners like World Kinect to help steer you through the complexities of energy contracts and help you avoid energy scams.

Trust and transparency with World Kinect

Finding your way in the energy market can be daunting for businesses, and we understand the challenges of figuring out who to trust, how to switch, and what energy prices will be in the future. However, you can rely on our energy partner World Kinect to assist you with any changes you may need with your energy contract. As a trusted Fortune 100 company listed on the US stock exchange, World Kinect adheres to strict rules that cover brokerage best practices.

Their local contacts and expertise can help your business source energy, achieve your decarbonization goals, and make informed decisions about your energy needs to minimize any risk. Get in touch with your local energy expert, Cheryl Hefft at (717) 575 4807 if you require any support or have any concerns. Alternatively, you can request a callback by clicking below.

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