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Atlanta Gas Light Ramps Up Efforts to Protect Customers from Utility Scammers

Nov.16, 2016 – Natural gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada are joining forces to protect customers against utility scams.

The Utilities United Against Scams collaboration have designated Nov. 16 as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.” This day will be supported by a week-long campaign with content focused on exposing the tactics scammers use to steal money from customers, and how customers can protect themselves. 

The collaborative encourages the public to share these messages to help guard against scam activity.

There are a number of scams. In one particular scam, a customer receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a company representative. The scammer warns that the company will disconnect the customer’s natural gas service if a payment is not made within a short timeframe.

Scammers also can duplicate a company’s upfront Interactive Voice Response system, so when customers call back phone numbers provided by the scammer, it appears to be legitimate. Some of these scams also use caller ID spoofing to replicate a company’s customer service number.

Red flags for scam activity
  • The individual becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
  • The individual instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to the company.
  • The individual asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
How to protect yourself  
  • Whenever a field service representative or one of our contractors visits your home or business, they will provide proper identification. If you have further concerns, please contact customer care at 800.427.5463 to confirm that a representative has been scheduled to perform work at your premises.
  • Atlanta Gas Light will never call customers regarding their natural gas bill. 
  • While we maintain the pipeline infrastructure, respond to emergencies and read meters every month, we do not bill customers directly. Only natural gas certified marketers sell natural gas to customers, and bill their customers for natural gas usage.
Customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with an individual posing as a company representative, should contact local authorities, and then the customer care center phone number listed on their bill.

For more information, visit www.atlantagaslight.com  or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to learn more.

About Atlanta Gas Light
Atlanta Gas Light is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Atlanta Gas Light provides natural gas delivery service to more than 1.5 million customers in Georgia. In operation since 1856, the company is one of the oldest corporations in the state. For more information, visit www.atlantagaslight.com.

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com .

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Media Contact:

Kristie Swink Benson, APR
o: 404-584-3167
c: 404-387-8067
kbenson@southernco.com