The Scam: Individuals sometimes create fake energy companies or service providers that appear to be legitimate (with an official-sounding company name, logo, 1-800 telephone number, etc.). They offer extremely low energy rates, a “special deal if you pay a flat six-month fee up front,” or approach new residents by saying they handle the electricity for the building and can personally set up your service. Most times these fraudulent individuals/companies require a deposit or start-up fee to be paid up front, usually in cash. If you pay the amount in cash, the scammer can set up your account but pocket the money. Shortly thereafter, you may start receiving calls from the energy company for payment, which you thought you already paid. In other cases, the scammer can pocket the money immediately without setting up your energy service.

The Method: In person and via advertisements in local newspapers, green sheets, on Craigslist and apartment complex bulletins.

What Happens: If you fall victim to this type of scam, you will most likely lose the dollar amount that is summoned from the fraudulent company, and it could also impact your credit score. It’s unlikely that you will be reimbursed, as the payment will most likely be done via cash. If you become victim to a scam that uses identity theft to set up fraudulent services, the range of the impact it will have can vary. If you provided your Social Security Number, the likelihood for identity theft is greater. This, in turn, threatens your credit report as you will assume responsibility for any fraudulent accounts created under your name. You will also have the responsibility of recovering your identity, which could require significant time and expense.

The TXU Energy Commitment: TXU Energy is dedicated to protecting you and your information. We want our customers to be informed about these situations in order to avoid becoming the victim of known scams. For more information on what you can expect from TXU Energy representatives door-to-door, on the phone and online, please visit the TXU Energy Promise.

TXU Energy has a dedicated Fraud Management Team. This team’s mission, every day, is to combat energy fraud and, when fraud is identified, to protect any current or future customers. For more information on how TXU Energy protects you from fraud, read about our promise to you.

Protect Yourself:

  • If you’ve never heard of the “provider,” perform thorough research via online searches (Angie’s List, Yelp reviews, etc.), speak with friends, leasing agents, neighbors and associates to determine if they have heard of or used the “provider.”

  • Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to determine the legitimacy of the company or provider.

  • Never meet a representative or provide payment for utility services in a non-legitimate location (churches, parks, apartment complex parking lots, etc.).

  • Report suspicious activity promptly to Customer Care, TXU Energy’s Fraud Hotline, or the police. You can reach the Fraud Hotline at 1-877-460-7060 or the Customer Care Center at 1-800-818-6132, 24 hours per day, seven days a week.

  • Bottom Line: If it sounds too go to be true, it probably is.