The scam begins with a phone call by someone pretending to be a Palmetto Electric Cooperative employee. The caller warns the consumer that utility service to their home or business will be disconnected unless they receive immediate payment. Scammers then direct consumers to purchase a pre-paid debit card (available at many convenience stores and pharmacies) and to call a toll-free number to deliver the serial code listed on the card. Once armed with this information, scammers have effectively stolen the money used to obtain the card.
Complaints in the past suggested scam operators are systematically targeting Hispanic communities, small business owners and restaurants.
Palmetto Electric will never call members and ask them to share personal information over the phone. In addition, notice is sent to PEC members before we disconnect services. If you receive one of these suspicious phone calls, you should hang up and contact your local law enforcement.
- Your electric cooperative will not call or email you asking you to share your account number or password. Do not share this information with anyone.
- Do not assume you can trust caller ID to let you know where the caller is located. Scammers are using new technology that disguises their actual location.
- Your electric cooperative will not contact you by phone to discuss the termination of service. If you receive a phone call saying your electricity is being disconnected, hang up and call law enforcement immediately.
- Consumers should also call Palmetto Electric’s office (1-800-922-5551) to report the incident. Customer service representatives can help confirm a billing payment and balance due on a member’s account.