Consumers Energy Sees Resurgence of Prepaid Credit Card Phone Scam

  • Consumers Energy is again warning customers about a scam that includes a high-pressure demand for quick utility payments over the phone using a prepaid credit card.
  • Callers threaten to shut off service if immediate payments aren’t made on accounts using a Green Dot or other prepaid credit card.
  • Consumers Energy never demands payments using only a pre-paid credit card, and urges customers to never be coerced into paying an energy bill over the phone using a Green Dot card or other pre-paid credit card. In addition, customers should never give personal information or money over the phone to anyone they do not know.

Scam Tip to Remember

Sometimes you may see a cashier’s check or money order that mimics the look of real financial institutions. Here are some good tips to protect yourself:

  • If you didn’t expect it and don’t know who sent it, those are two red flags.
  • Any time you receive a check with instructions to deposit part of it and return a portion back to the sender, this is a clear indication of a scam.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact your local Shelby State Bank branch. Together, we will remain vigilant and protected!

Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse Financial Awareness Day is June 15
Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion annually. Older customers and their trusted caregivers are encouraged to safeguard all personal information. Tips to help prevent elder abuse crimes:

  • Get to know your banker and build a relationship with the people who handle your finances. They can look out for any suspicious activity related to your account.
  • Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure wishes are followed.  Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial advisor about the best options for you.
  • Carefully choose a trustworthy person to act as your agent in all estate-planning matters.
  • Never give personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
  • Never pay a fee or taxes to collect sweepstakes or lottery “winnings.”
  • Never rush into a financial decision. Ask for details in writing and get a second opinion.
  • Check references and credentials before hiring anyone.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day was launched on June 15, 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

Another Scam Tip to Remember

Sometimes criminals will pose as representatives of a legitimate financial institution (even SSB) and call people asking for private information claiming their “debit card was compromised.”  Do not give out any information on phone calls like this.  And to protect yourself against claims like this, be in the know with mobile banking and our CardValet card controls!