Electric utility scammers are continually switching up their game (and lies) to try to get your money.
One of the most common tricks scammers now use involves a spoofing app that they use to create a fake caller ID to trick co-op members into thinking a call they are receiving is coming from their co-op or another local number. Your caller ID will show some variation of your electric cooperative’s name or come from a local number, seemingly giving scammers instant credibility.
They will tell members they are late on paying their bill and need to do so in the next couple of hours or their electricity will be disconnected. They then tell the member to head to a local store to purchase a reloadable debit card and call back with the card information. Or they directly ask for credit card or bank account information.
The scammers don’t stop there. Some swindlers encourage members to deliver them cash in person at a meeting spot or come to the member’s front door and claim they need to read their meter for money.
If you receive a call, email or visit from anyone claiming to be a co-op employee and asking you for money, immediately report it to the cooperative—using the co-op phone number you look up yourself. Never call a number given to you by a potential scammer to verify the request for money; giving you a fake number is another common scheme, and the call will be answered by the scammer’s team.
Your co-op will never:
- Call from an out-of-state number.
- Have a technician call you to say he or she is coming out to disconnect power.
- Request a cash payment at your home or business.
- Threaten a service disconnection on holidays or weekends.
If you experience any of these things, give us a call and let us know so we can warn other members about the scam.
It is unfortunate that we feel obligated to encourage you to be suspicious, but we care about our members, and it’s important to us that our members not be taken advantage of.