UPDATE: EPB warns customers of scam
UPDATE: Scammers are pretending to be utility company employees, tricking costumers out of money or personal information. With the holidays coming up, an EPB spokesperson believes the threats will only continue to increase.
Scammers claiming to be with EPB are calling customers, threatening to disconnect their power if they do not immediately pay with a re-loadable debit or money card.
Scammers claiming to be from a utility company were busy over the holiday weekend, going after EPB customers.
“It continues after so many years, these folks are still hitting our customers, just like they are hitting customers across the United States,” EPB spokesman John Pless said.
Customers are getting unsolicited phone calls from a person claiming to represent EPB. The scammer says services will be disconnected if a payment is not made immediately.
“They are asking the customer to go down to say a Walmart or a drug store that sells re-loadable debit cards or money pack cards. They will tell them how much to put on that card, and then they will tell them to call back this 800 number to make the payment arraignment with that card. If they go that far and do that, unfortunately not a lot can be done because the caller has access to that account to take out the money before the customer knows what's going on.”
Pless said phony callers are getting more and more sophisticated.
“Sometimes the caller ID on the phone will say EPB or will have the EPB number. They are very good at spoofing caller ID,” Pless explained
He said if you get a phone call like this, hang up and call EPB's main number. A customer service representative will inform you if you have a balance on your account.
“Awareness, just be aware," Pless added. "If someone demands immediate payment with these types of methods or the power gets cut off, it's a red flag.”
Pless said another way to avoid being a victim of this scam is by enrolling into the auto payment option. He said you won't have to worry about a debt on your account.
For more information about scams and how to protect yourself, visit the Federal Trade Commission's website.