Scammers target Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program
(ABC 6 News) – There is a new scam that is targeting Minnesotans with fraudulent calls about Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program to trick consumers.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, which administers Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, offers these guidelines to flag calls as fraudulent:
- No bank account or credit card information is required for a household to apply for the Energy Assistance Program. If you are asked for that information or payments of any kind, hang up.
- Fraudulent callers may claim to offer a refund for a utility bill overpayment, and then ask for credit card information. If you are asked for credit card information, hang up.
- Scammers may spoof caller ID to display a number from any utility company or Energy Assistance service provider at your local community assistance program. You can always hang up and call directly to your utility or local energy assistance service provider.
To avoid scammers trying to defraud consumers, Minnesotans can directly contact the Energy Assistance Program and Commerce is encouraging Minnesotans to apply. Energy Assistance funding is available for thousands more Minnesotans. The program is open for applications through May 31, 2022.
The Energy Assistance Program Dashboard published by Commerce shows over $104 million has already been paid to almost 87,000 Minnesota households since October 2021.
How to apply: To request an application or find your local service provider:
- Search online for “Minnesota energy assistance”
- Go online: mn.gov/energyassistance
- Call 800-657-3710 and press 1
With one application to the Energy Assistance Program, households may also qualify for water bill assistance and for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which can permanently reduce household energy costs. The Energy Assistance and Weatherization Assistance Programs are both federally funded, with Commerce as the administrator working with local service providers across the state to serve Minnesotans.