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Utility Scam May 16, 2022

Scam Type

Utility Scam

Date Reported

May 16, 2022

Victim Postal Code

77018

Total Dollars Lost

$1,600.00

Scam Description

I was a victim of fraud today. The number was Centerpoint number 713-207-2222. The call started with a recording from Centerpoint as a courtesy that my electricity would be cut off in 45 minutes unless I paid balance due. It was terrible because I made incredibly stupid decisions that I would never make, but I lost over $1600. They first said I had to pay via Zelle then said the payment did not go through and to do it again, In order to receive a refund of the first amount I had to send a code through Zelle. They had me confused and kept threatening to cut off my electricity. I looked up the number 713-207-2222 and called it and it is a Centerpoint number. Once I didn’t get the refund they said was coming in 15 minutes I knew I had been scammed. MY DECISIONS THROUGHOUT. HOWEVER, CENTERPOINT MUST FIND A WAY TO STOP SCAMMERS FROM USING A CENTERPOINT NUMBER AND ALERTING THE PUBLIC, BY MUCH MORE THAN A SHORT MESSAGE ONCE SCAMMED CUSTOMERS CALL IN TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE. WITH ACCESS TO EVERY SINGLE DWELLING IN THE COUNTRY, CENTERPOINT MUST HAVE BETTER SAFETY AND SECURITY PROCEDURES. I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MY DECISIONS, BUT CENTERPOINT BEARS SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR NOT PROTECTING YOUR TECHNOLOGY MORE COMPLETELY. I WILL CONTINUE TO SEND MESSAGES UNTIL I GET A SATISFACTORY ANSWER THAT SOMETHING WILL BE DONE TO BETTER PROTECT CONSUMERS LIKE ME WHO ARE JUST TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING.