Scam targets Atmos Energy customers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/6/09

Scam targets Atmos Energy customers

By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Winning the lottery, sounds nice doesn't it? However it's probably too good to be true.

Atmos Energy in Lubbock tells us some worried customers called after they got a letter letting them know they won a lottery. "With Atmos Energy we are a natural gas provider we are not in any way associated with any lotteries and we don't have any promotions that would have lottery type winnings as a prize," said Dan Alderson with Atmos Energy. 

So here's how it works. A letter and a check come in the mail that says you have won $250,000.  Enclosed is a $4500 check to help pay the taxes on the lottery prize.  The letter tells the customer in order to claim the total prize money they must send $3000 to cover expenses.

"Out here in West Texas we have a lot of trusting folks and I think using the Atmos brand which has been around for 100 years, they trust us they know us and sometimes they may over look some things and not question what they receive in the mail," said Alderson. 

As the economy remains in a slump Vice President of IT and Security at First Bank and Trust Stephen Quisenberry says check scams are becoming very popular.  "A lot of these come from reputable companies that you get your bills and your mail from all the time. It looks legit it's hard to tell it's a scam check from a real check you need to either call those banks or call your bank and see if it is real," said Quisenberry. 

He says there is never a legitimate reason someone would send you a check and then ask for money back. "We hate to see our customers get scammed the bad thing is, the responsibility falls on the customer to figure out if that check is good or not," said Quisenberry. 

Atmos Energy says if you receive one of these letters to call them and let them know.   They can be reached at 798-4424.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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