09/22/13 — Electric company warns of bill scam

View Archive

Electric company warns of bill scam

By From staff reports
Published in News on September 22, 2013 1:50 AM

DUDLEY -- Tri-County Electric Membership Cooperative officials are warning county residents about a scam in which thieves, posing as electric utility representatives, continue to prey on unsuspecting consumers across the country including Tri-County members.

A typical scam scenario happens as follows: A member receives an unsolicited phone call from someone who falsely claims to be a representative of the electric cooperative. That person tells the Tri-County EMC member that his or her service will be disconnected if the member does not make an immediate payment to the cooperative.

In some cases, the scammer insists on receiving payment within an hour and instructs the member to either purchase a prepaid debit card and provide the details of that debit card or turn over credit card information.

Officials encourage residents to never provide anyone who calls them with personal or account information.

Scammers were previously targeting mainly Spanish speaking members, but they have branched out and are now targeting members from many different backgrounds, the officials said.

Tri-County EMC would never contact a member to obtain account or personal information, the officials said.

Residents who doubt the identity of someone claiming to represent the cooperative, should hang up and call the cooperative's office using the phone number listed on a bill or another official document.

Tri-County officials urge people to be aware of this scam and ask that they share this information with family and friends to help put a stop to the scam.