Don’t Fall for the Call
Follow these tips to avoid scam attempts
You get a call saying your electricity will be shut off unless you pay a past-due bill immediately. You don’t think you have a past due balance, but you don’t want your power shut off either.
Residential and small business members frequently notify the cooperative they’ve received suspicious calls like this when their balance is paid in full. If you get a call like this, first stop or pause to consider your options. Your first instinct may be to react and the scammer on the other end of the line is counting on this. Unfortunately, scammers commonly impersonate utility companies and they’ve found ways to make it believable. Here are some precautions you can take to protect yourself.
NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR BANKING INFORMATION BY EMAIL OR PHONE. Utility companies don’t demand banking information by email or phone. And they won’t force you to pay by phone as your only option.
BE SUSPICIOUS. Did the caller demand payment by gift card, cash reload card, wiring money or cryptocurrency? Don’t do it. Legitimate companies don’t demand one specific method of payment. And they don’t generally accept gift cards (like iTunes or Amazon), cash reload cards (like MoneyPak, Vanilla, or Reloadit), or cryptocurrency (like bitcoin).
If You Get a Call Like This,
Here Are Some Things You Can Do:
DON’T CALL ANY NUMBER THE CALLER GAVE YOU. If you’re concerned that your bill is past due, contact TCEC directly using the number on your paper bill, which is 580-652-2418. You can also use SmartHub at tcec.coop to check your balance and contact us.
NEVER GIVE BANKING INFORMATION OVER THE PHONE UNLESS YOU PLACE THE CALL TO A NUMBER YOU KNOW IS LEGITIMATE. TCEC no longer takes banking or credit card information over the phone through a live representative; that now goes through an automated system for your security.
REPORT THE SCAM TO THE FTC at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. Your reports help fight these scams. And report it to TCEC so we can warn other members of scammers targeting our area. If you already paid, tell the payment provider — such as the wire transfer or gift card company. You may not get your money back, but it’s important to tell them about the scam.