Identifying the good guys—and thwarting the bad ones


G. Thomas Upshaw | President & CEO

We work hard to earn and keep your trust. We also look out for our members by alerting them to possible scams.

Some scammers are brazen enough to walk right up to your door. A new but equally low breed uses technology and telephones.

First, we want to help you identify your co-op’s employees and those of the contract utility companies we hire, such as those that help us maintain our rights of way.

Co-op employees like 1st Class Lineman Donald Cook will produce identification upon request. Contractors will either be in utility vehicles, have proper magnetic signage or have official Palmetto Electric windshield stickers, like the one shown below, which are updated annually.

All of our field employees, and many office employees, wear Palmetto Electric uniforms and drive vehicles with our name and logo. Most importantly, legitimate co-op employees always carry identification that they’ll allow you to check. Should you have any doubts, call us. Vehicles for contract utility companies working for us will have an official co-op windshield sticker, shown below.

Unfortunately, technology masks a lot of crooks. Co-ops nationwide are warning members about a rise in bill payment fraud scams over the phone.

Fake home energy audits and scams related to prepaid credit cards are becoming more common at co-ops across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Callers demand people make a large payment to cancel an order to shut off power. They pretend to negotiate and accept a lower amount if you immediately obtain a prepaid credit card.

092013bIf you receive a suspicious call regarding your co-op bill, call Palmetto Electric. A service representative can confirm your bill and let you know of any problems with your account.
Variations include calls claiming expiration of automatic bank drafts. Scammers seek personal financial information, which could enable a thief to raid bank accounts. Other frauds include “Home Walk-Through” scam calls. The member is told they can save money on their utility bills if they schedule a walk-through energy audit of the home. It’s a technique to get a layout of a home for a future burglary.

A new twist on fraud
Members cautioned about fake text messages

Stay safe!

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