The Illinois Commerce Commission has taken steps to reduce scams related to COVID-19. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICC recently issued an Order to stop door-to-door marketing by alternative retail electric and gas suppliers. The Commission also issued a moratorium on electric, gas, water and wastewater service disconnections and the suspension of late fees by large public utilities. The ICC has received reports from utilities of suspicious cases of individuals knocking on customers’ doors claiming to be a utility representative demanding payment for utility bills and threatening disconnection.
The Federal Communications Commission is also wanting to warn people about scam text messages and robo calls that are advertising fake cures, home testing kits, phony insurance plans, or HVAC duct cleaning services claiming to kill the COVID-19 virus. Other potential scams include text messages from entities posing as the federal government, offering $30,000 in COVID-19 relief money, or posing as the World Health Organization claiming to raise funds for charity. Clicking on links or attachments to these kinds of text message can lead to the spread of malicious spyware or computer viruses on your electronic devices, compromising your personal information.
Some texts and calls may also be surrounding COVID-19 stimulus money asking you to verify your bank account information to release funds to your bank. ICC says that no one from the federal or state government will ever call asking for verification of personal information or banks accounts.
ICC says that if you believe that you’ve been scammed or are being illegally solicited by an alternative energy supplier to contact local law enforcement. They also urge you to file a complaint with ICC’s Customer Service Division at 1-800-524-0795 or online at icc.illinois.gov/complaints.