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The Scoop

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Verbatim: I&M alerts public to possible scam

Indiana Michigan Power issued this news release this afternoon:

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is alerting customers in its Fort Wayne service area of a possible scam involving tree trimming.

The company received word from customers that imposters are knocking on doors claiming to represent I&M or another utility. The imposters tell the homeowner that trees on their property need to be trimmed and that the homeowner must pay a fee for the service.

I&M reminds the public that neither the company, nor its authorized

contractors, will charge a fee for tree maintenance or removal that the company deems necessary for public safety and service reliability. Anyone claiming to represent I&M or one of its authorized contractors will carry the necessary identification and will be driving clearly marked vehicles.

I&M notifies property owners in writing weeks in advance of any

tree-related work that is scheduled to take place in a given area. I&M then follows up with a visit in person. If a customer is not at home, I&M leaves a notification on the customer's door with details of the work to be done and a phone number to call with questions. When it is deemed necessary to trim or remove trees that are too close to power lines, marks are placed on the tree trunks. The entire process, from first notification to completion of the work, can take several weeks. The only exception to this practice is work that is necessary during emergencies.

I&M encourages its customers to alert law enforcement or notify the company if someone claims that they need to work on trees immediately for a fee. Customers may contact the company at indianamichiganpower.com, or by calling 1-800-311-4634.

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