State police warn of phone scam in UP

IRON MOUNTAIN — Michigan State Police have advised area residents about a recent telephone scam that claims to be a third-party processor for Consumers Energy, demanding payment of a past-due utility bill.

The caller threatens to shut off power if payment is not made within an hour. The caller may have a foreign accent, and Michigan State Police believe the calls may originate from outside the country.

According to the Consumers Energy web site, these scams often instruct the customer to make payment through an online money transfer or to go to a nearby store to purchase a prepaid gift card or send money via wire transfer.

The utility’s online map does not indicate Consumers Energy provides any service to the Upper Peninsula.