FirstEnergy's Ohio Edison utility companies are seeing an increase in scam calls to customers across the valley.

Officials say calls have become increasingly sophisticated, sometimes spoofing actual company phone numbers or using original audio from FirstEnergy Ohio Edison's automated calling system.

Recently, scammers have been offering refunds or discounts on electric bills to get access to private information.

First Energy reminds customers of these tips to avoid getting scammed. 

Scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to misrepresent the source of a phone call to mislead further and confuse their targets.

Call-back numbers provided by these criminals often use greetings and hold messages that mimic legitimate businesses.

If you have any doubts about the status of your electric service, call your utility company using the customer service phone number on the FirstEnergy website to ask about your account.

If a caller threatens to shut off your power unless immediate payment is received, hang up.

FirstEnergy employees do not contact customers to request sensitive information, such as social security numbers or bank account information.

Customers who are behind on their accounts receive written notices of a possible disconnection and how to prevent it.

Representatives will not call or email to demand immediate payment to avoid a same-day shutoff.

While FirstEnergy representatives often make courtesy calls to customers to remind them about an outstanding balance, they would explain how a payment can be made using the secure payment options.

It is never required to purchase a pre-paid money card as the only acceptable means of payment.

FirstEnergy field collectors working in Ohio carry company-issued photo identification.

Only send your payments to your FirstEnergy operating company, and never use a payment account provided to you by an unknown individual.

Do not allow anyone claiming to be a utility employee into your home unless you scheduled an appointment, and the employee has provided proper identification.

For more information on scams and how to avoid being victimized, click here.