MILWAUKEE — We Energies is warning customers of a new phishing tool. The energy giant said dozens of customers have reported fake numbers and websites that have people pretending to be We Energies employees. Instead, their information is getting stolen.
A quick Google search on your phone is an everyday thing for many, but that search could turn dangerous quickly.
"Unfortunately our customers are targeted often," We Energies Communications Director, Brendan Conway, said.
Conway said over the last month, dozens of customers have reported this and some have had personal information and even money stolen. He said it's happening when you search the internet on your phone and type in keywords like 'We Energies billing' and 'We Energies billing department.'
"These people are buying an ad and using those keywords, and that ad shows up at the top of the search results above our website and above our phone number. People now are calling that number and thinking it's We Energies. It's not us, and those criminals are stealing their information," Conway explained.
The I-Team tried using those keywords and the fake websites and phone numbers are the first to pop up. So, the I-Team called to find out who was behind this.
"Hi my name is Jenna, and I'm a reporter," Investigative Reporter Jenna Rae said.
Rae was on the phone for less than a minute.
"We have reports from our local energy company that you guys are impersonating," Rae said as the person on the other line hung up.
The I-Team called the other ads that pop up too and were hung up on after identifying themselves.
"In some cases, we're finding out that customers did unfortunately give some information, credit card information, social security information, and then they're having money taken out of their accounts. In some cases, these criminals will call us and try and get even more information," Conway said.
Conway said We Energies employees will never ask you to confirm your social security number or credit card number over the phone, unless you're trying to pay a bill. He said they also will never threaten to turn off your electricity if you don't fork over that information.
"The best way for customers to be safe is to be aware and make sure they're taking a little extra time and only calling the number on our website, on our app, or on their bill," Conway added.
If this has happened to you report it to We Energies and your local law enforcement.