Utility customers around Georgia are reporting a rash of scams designed to obtain personal information for illegal profit.
“Unfortunately, there are a number of scams going on right now that we need to warn utility customers about,” says Satilla REMC Director of Customer Service Jim Tucker. “We’ve had business customers reporting that people posing as the ‘the power company’ have threatened to turn off their power during business hours for allegedly unpaid bills unless they make a payment with a credit card. Similar contacts, some by phone and some in person, have occurred with residential customers.
Tucker has some simple advice for those who receive such contacts:
• If you receive a call, hang up and call the number on your utility bill; you’ll know you’re talking to a legitimate representative.
• If you receive a visit, tell the person that you’d prefer to call your utility company about the matter and close the door.
• If the person at your door says they represent ‘your power company,’ don’t look at the shirt – ask for an I.D. badge.
• If you’re provided with any information by the scammers, pass that information along to local law enforcement.
• If you feel threatened in any way, call local law enforcement immediately.
Tucker noted that neither Satilla REMC nor other utilities call customers and request personal information, such as Social Security and credit card numbers, over the phone. “If the contact is legitimate, you will be asked to go to your utility’s secure website or come to a payment location to handle any unpaid balance on your bill.