Satilla REMC would like to warn its electrical consumers about an apparent telephone scam that is circulating within Satilla’s service area. Members have reported receiving telephone calls from scammers saying their electric bills are delinquent and/or subject to disconnection.
These customers were asked to provide payment using their credit or debit card services. The scammer provides a confirmation number which grants the scammer access to the consumer’s funds.
Satilla REMC would like to remind its Members not to provide personal, confidential, or financial information to any unidentified individual and urges customers to be cautious when responding to phone calls. Report any suspicious activity to your local law enforcement.
A Green Dot money card scam has popped up in a few states, and electric cooperatives are telling consumers to watch out.
Posing as electric utility workers, scam artists are phoning consumers warning that their electricity is about to be shut off unless they buy a Green Dot prepaid debit card and load it with money. Victims are told to dial a toll-free number and give the serial number on the card to the caller.
Green Dot “money pak” cards are available at convenience stores, gas stations and pharmacies. Consumers add money to the cards with cash and then use them to pay bills. Because only cash is used, the cards are hard to trace.
From GA Power:
Georgia Power said it has fielded more than 650 calls so far this year regarding suspected billing scams and cautioned Monday about the latest one involving prepaid debit cards.
The utility said both residential and business customers are targeted in the phone scam. They are told their accounts are past due and their electricity will be cut off unless they purchase a prepaid debit card and provide the caller with the card’s account number.
Usually callers demand that customers give them a credit card or debit number over the phone, according to Georgia Power spokesman Brian Green, who said the first sign of a scam is the call itself.
“We don’t call our customers and ask them to make a payment,” Green said. Customers get a pre-recorded message on the primary number the utility has on file, asking them to contact the utility to discuss their account, Green said.
Green also said the utility doesn’t send staffers out to customers’ homes and businesses to collect payments. Some of the scams, however, involve individuals knocking on doors. The only utility workers who make visits are technicians in Georgia Power uniforms with IDs, the utility said.
Georgia Power, a unit of Southern Co., said it has fielded more than 74 calls so far this month about possible scams, and affiliated utilities have reported similar scams across the Southeast.
Customers can call a 24-hour hotline to report possible scams at 1-888-660-5890 and visit the company’s website to see the uniforms Georgia Power technicians wear. They also must show their badge.