Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Science and the Environment

Utilities Warn of Virus-Infected Scam Email

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

A nationwide email scam is targeting utility customers by encouraging them to go to a website infected with a virus.  KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson has more on what to look out for.

The emails claim to be from various utility companies or co-ops, including PG&E Energy and Atmos Energy, which are based in California and Texas.  The email appears as a bill, and tells consumers their bill is ready to view—and that all they have to do is click on a link.  But that link actually takes them to a site that infects their device with malware.

According to a news release from Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative in south-central Missouri, there haven’t been any reports of the scam in our area yet – but that utility is urging its members to be aware.

"Better Business Bureaus around the country are seeing big increases in phony utility company invoices and even though we haven't seen this in our area, we feel it important to make our members aware that this could be a problem," said Myles Smith, manager of member services at Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative.

If you receive an email that looks questionable regarding your electricity, water or gas, contact your utility provider.  For City Utilities customers in Springfield, that’s 417-863-9000. Howell-Oregon Electric Co-Op members can call 417-256-2131, and Empire District Electric customers can call 417-206-2300.