They’re as seasonal as summer but always a bummer.
We’re talking about scammers.
Sadly, each summer scammers prey on our members. In July, we alerted members via social media that bad guys, misrepresenting themselves as Palmetto Electric employees, were calling our members, threatening to disconnect power if a payment was not made that day. In August, scammers even contacted members via “spoofed” co-op numbers, making it appear they were legit.
Commercial accounts were targeted. In several cases, the crooks told members to call a phony phone number to make their payment.
Key point: If someone calls out of the blue, threatening to cut your power off, it’s a scam.
What you should do
- 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 you receive a suspicious call, mailing, email or other type of unusual contact, end the call immediately and contact local law enforcement.
What Palmetto Electric will never do
- Notice how criminals try to create a sense of urgency, a feeling that “you need to act fast — or else…” We don’t work that way at Palmetto. In fact:
- We don’t demand payment with reloadable debit cards or by wiring money.
- We don’t disconnect services for non-payment on weekends.
What we’re doing
Palmetto is working with Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), a group up of private, public and cooperative power companies, to address this problem. When we hear scammers are using 800 numbers, we ask telecom service providers to turn off the 800 number, making it unusable. It takes a little time, but UUAS has shut down more than 100 illicit 800 numbers nationwide.
Scammers are persistent and set up new fake 800 numbers, so members must be diligent. Let us know if you suspect fraudulent activity.
We urge members not to respond to these scams. Instead, use My Energy Online or the My Energy Mobile App to manage your account. That way, you can quickly verify whether or not your account is past due.
Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We’ll alert you when we hear about scams or other urgent information.