UGI Utilities, Inc. was warning its customers of a scam email that seeks to infiltrate a customer's computer using a fake bill statement masquerading as an official email. The gas and electric utility first began getting calls about the email scam Wednesday from customers and in some cases, non-customers who claimed they had received emails advising them of abnormally high bills, said UGI spokesman Joseph Swope. The utility, which sometimes provides gas service to customers through third party suppliers, quickly found they were not alone in being targeted by the scam."We started getting calls from customers yesterday, just one or two, but today they started picking up pretty significantly and we had a pretty good handful of calls," Swope said. "And this is not confined to UGI's service area, it's pretty widespread and both PG E [Energy] and Atmos [Energy Corp.] have warnings about this energy scam on their websites, and Atmos is an energy company is based in Texas."The easiest way for customers to recognize the scam is the way in which the bill is presented, Swope said. While official UGI emails may alert customers that their bill is ready to view, the utility always has customers log in at the utility's website to view the bill. The scam emails seem to present a direct link to the bill, with a fake account number, Swope said."The way this is presented is clearly out of the ordinary way that a customer would receive that sort of information," Swope said. "The amounts listed in these emails is also unusually high, usually over 0."Because UGI customers can choose to have gas delivered by UGI from a third party supplier, some customers were confused by the fake bills, Swopes said, before adding that, even in the case of a third-party supplier, all costs are presented in a single bill from UGI.Anyone who receives a suspicious email from UGI or a third-party supplier should delete the email and, if in doubt, contact UGI's customer service on or call the utility's billing and collection line directly at 800-276-2722.
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