Utility scammers don’t take a holiday

(Jefferson, Ga., November 29, 2016)  Scammers aren’t giving utility customers a break for the holidays, even going so far as targeting local small business owners, according to Jackson Electric Membership Corporation (EMC).

“Scammers seem to be endlessly creative in ways to rip off utility customers. We’re receiving reports from residential and business customers alike that they’re being contacted by phone and email by imposters claiming to be their utility company, warning them that their bill is overdue, or that they’re being charged for services they haven’t requested, like a meter upgrade,” says Jackson EMC Director of Customer Service Brent Cochran.

What all the scams have in common is the threat of imminent power disconnection and the demand to pay immediately. Scammers have even faked the phone number from which their call is originating  to look like a Jackson EMC office.

“Legitimate utilities do not call customers and threaten immediate disconnection, and they never request immediate payment, by Green Dot card or any other means. Once a utility customer loads a Green Dot card or gives scammers their information, their money is gone and there’s nothing their utility can do about it,” emphasized Cochran.

What legitimate utilities will do:

  • Send you written notice of a date by which a payment must be made on your account or power will be disconnected; and
  • Allow you to make that payment either in person at the utility’s office or on the utility’s website.

“Please don’t give these thieves your hard-earned money. If you have any doubt whatsoever about who is contacting you, stop, pick up the phone book and call your utility’s office first,” cautions Cochran.

For more information about how to protect yourself, go to http://www.jacksonemc.com/safety-and-security