COLUMBUS - The Ohio attorney general is warning consumers to beware of phone scams involving utilities after two Buckeye state residents reported being cheated out of money.
The two residents reported losing about $800 each after receiving a call from someone claiming to represent a utility company and demanding payment.
"With current technology, it can be difficult to determine if a call is legitimate or a scam, and with fluctuating temperatures and high bills, utility scams can be more effective," Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a release.
"It's important to remember that any time you receive an unexpected call, you have the right to ask questions, demand answers, or simply hang up," he said.
In a recently reported scam, a caller pretended to represent a utility company and said the consumer's power would be shut off unless the consumer sent hundreds of dollars using a prepaid money card.
The call was not coming from the consumer's utility company.
Another recent scam the office is warning against involves unsolicited phone calls from individuals claiming they can lower consumers' natural gas rates.
The office says it has received approximately 100 complaints about these calls in the last two months, and more than 80 of the complaints were filed since July 1.
In the complaints, the release states, consumers from northeast Ohio generally report receiving a call from a 740 or 440 area code phone number. The caller claims to represent Dominion and offers a discount or a lower gas rate.
Dominion East Ohio says these calls are not from them and that the business does not solicit consumers over the phone.