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Moratorium ends: Pay up or risk getting cut off by We Energies, but beware of scammers

Cathy Schulze, spokesperson for We Energies

MILWAUKEE -- It's time to pay up or risk getting cut off by We Energies. Monday, April 16 marks the end of the winter moratorium for customers who are behind on their payments.

Despite the weather taking a turn for the worse, with a spring winter storm impacting southeast Wisconsin in April, the energy company no longer has to keep the power on for delinquent customers.

"When some customers aren't paying for that service, it falls on the rest of us who are paying those bills," said Cathy Schulze, We Energies' spokeswoman.

But customers who need help to pay off their bills also need to be on the lookout for crooks looking to target them.

"Scammers are very astute. They know when the end of the moratorium is approaching -- and they take that opportunity to try and connect with our customers and scam them out of money," Schulze said.

One of those dirty tricks is called the Green Dot scam. Crooks posing as We Energies' employees call some of these people and try to get their money.

"If they're getting a phone call from someone who's speaking in a very threatening manner, demanding immediate payment via prepaid debt or credit card -- that should raise a red flag," Schulze said.

Andi Elliott of Community Advocates

One of the best ways to protect yourself if you are at risk for losing power...

"Set up the payment plan. Community Advocates and UMOS energy assistance workers can also assist with that," said Andi Elliott of Community Advocates.

Roughly 52,000 people have already set up a payment plan this year. Officials say it is the safest way to avoid scammers.

"Go ahead and get that appointment scheduled -- so we can get that energy assistance processed," Elliott said.

The deadline to enroll in energy assistance with benefits is May 15, but getting power restored for crisis assistance cases will happen all year.

CLICK HERE for information on contacting We Energies to establish a payment plan.

CLICK HERE for information on energy assistance.