For security’s sake this holiday season, Palmetto Electric Cooperative is reminding the public of how to avoid scams perpetrated either on the telephone or in person.
President and CEO Berl Davis says alert co-op members have reported both types of scamming in recent days. In the telephone scam, the caller poses as a representative of Palmetto Electric. The scam caller states that immediate payment is needed to avoid disconnection of electric service.
As Davis notes, “Don’t give out credit card numbers and personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you’ve initiated the contact or are sure you know who you’re dealing with.” If a member receives a suspicious call, mailing, email or other type of unusual contact, the member should end the call immediately and contact local law enforcement.
He said co-op members also have reported being approached by individuals who falsely claimed to be with the cooperative. Davis said members can easily identify cooperative employees. “Co-op employees will always be wearing a Palmetto Electric Cooperative uniform and/or driving a co-op vehicle with our name and official logo on it. They will be glad to show photo identification to anyone who requests it,” says Davis.
The cooperative sometimes hires other companies, including contract utility crews, to perform certain tasks, such as right-of-way maintenance, line construction and pole inspections. These workers should not need to enter a member’s home or business or request information from a member.
Members can call the cooperative at 843-208-5551 if they have questions about their account or if they receive a suspicious call. Customer service representatives can help confirm a billing payment and balance due on a member’s account. They can also verify that workers are Palmetto Electric employees or contract labor working for the co-op.