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PSC warns of utility billing scam

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The Public Service Commission has issued a warning about scam phone calls in Virginia and Kentucky from people claiming to represent electric companies.

 

The callers threaten to "shut off electric service unless a delinquent bill is paid within a matter of hours."  The callers instruct customers to go to Wal-Mart or another store and buy a Green Dot Visa or similar pre-paid debit card, load money onto the card and pay over the phone.

Elderly people and businesses are being targeted.  Scammers reportedly have created a sense of legitimacy by making the name and number of the power company appear on the victims' caller ID.

Although the scam has not yet been reported in West Virginia, the PSC is reminding West Virginians to be vigilant, use common sense if contacted about utility payments and keep the following in mind:

 

  • Utility company representatives calling about a delinquent bill would not specify a method of payment.
  • Customers should only use methods authorized by the utility company to pay bill.
  • Anyone who receives a billing call should try to verify the identity of the caller and report to police calls that seem similar to the scam

 

 

 

 For more information on authorized payment locations, contact your utility company.