In conjunction with National Utility Scam Awareness Week Nov. 16-20, Columbia Gas of Ohio is reminding the public to be aware of scammers targeting residential and business utility customers.

One of the most common scenarios involves threats to shut off the gas without immediate cash payment on a bill. Scammers will sometimes ask for payment via pre-paid debit cards or gift cards as well. While anyone with a phone number is susceptible, scammers often target small businesses, seniors and those who don’t speak English as a first language.

Other common red flags of utility scams include unsolicited requests for personal and banking information, constant pressuring to pay or program offers that seem too good to be true. Additionally, Columbia Gas employees and contractors always carry ID badges and will gladly show you upon request. Ask them for ID before granting access to your home or business.

The best way to avoid falling victim to utility scams is to always exercise caution. If you are ever suspicious of a phone call, email or any other communication from someone claiming to be Columbia Gas of Ohio, call the customer care center immediately at 1-800-344-4077.

Staff Report