Across the country, scam artists, posing as electric company employees, are calling customers to tell them they are behind on their electric bills and have a short time to make a payment. The customer is then told to purchase a Green Dot prepaid debit card or other type of reloadable debit card, load the card with money, and then provide the serial number from the card. Otherwise, they are told their electricity will be shut off.
Electric customers have been targeted in several states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. All electric customers should keep the following in mind when someone calls and says they are from your electric company and asks for payment:
- If you are unsure if the caller is with your electric company, you should hang up and call the main customer service number for your electric company.
- Your electric company will not ask for your bank information or credit card number over the phone.
- Customers who are behind on their bills receive written notices of a possible disconnection and how to prevent it—electric companies will not demand immediate payment.
- If you believe you have been a victim of this scam, please contact your local police department or your state attorney general’s office.
Visit the Federal Trade Commission’s site for information on how you can protect your personal information.