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      CMS Energy reports widespread phone payment scam

      CMS Energy Corp. is warning its customers about a scam in which people pretending to represent the power company call demanding people quickly pay bills over the phone.

      The Oakland County sheriff's department reports a similar fraud scheme involving federal taxes.

      The Jackson-based company's Consumers Energy unit says there have been 118 reported cases of the fraud attempt using a Green Dot prepaid card since Nov. 22.

      In a typical case, the English or Spanish speaker demands payment for a Consumers Energy bill within an hour, telling the customer to purchase a Green Dot card available at drug and food stores.

      In Oakland County, Undersheriff Mike McCabe says someone pretending to represent the Internal Revenue Service conned a Farmington Hills resident into paying $3,854 on a Green Dot card.