Farmington Hills Police Department is warning residents of the return of a DTE bitcoin phone scam in 2019, which is currently under investigation in a number of fraud cases.
In the case of the fraud, people posing as DTE employees threaten to cut off a resident’s power supply if their “overdue” bills are not paid.
To fix the problem, citizens are instructed to go to the “nearest DTE payment center” described by the caller, which is actually a Bitcoin machine.
The fraudster then sends a seemingly authentic QR access code containing the DTE logo so that the resident can use the code to deposit cash into the machine.
In some cases, the caller tries to convince the resident that they did not deposit the correct amount of money in an attempt to get more money from the resident.
Once the deposit has been made, the money cannot be claimed back.
Police are reminding local residents that no legitimate company or utility company is demanding payment with Bitcoin or taking calls from unrecognized numbers.
When residents receive a call or voicemail instructing them to make payments using Bitcoin or gift cards, the police should hang up or not call back the number remaining in the voicemail.
Instead, call the company or log into your personal accounts to verify the legality of the call or voicemail.
In 2019, when the scam arose, DTE posted a warning to its customers regarding the scam on its website.
If they suspect a call is fraudulent, DTE customers can hang up and call (800) 477-4747 to connect to customer service and explain the incident.
In the event that a resident cannot reach anyone in the actual company, the police ask residents to call their local police department before sending payments and to do the same if someone believes they have been defrauded.
Call the Farmington Hills Command Desk at (248) 871-2610 to report a fraud or provide police information about these scams.
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