Officials with Appalachian Power in West Virginia, along with law enforcement in Mercer County, said on Thursday that power customers are being targeted in a scam.
They said scammers ask customers to make an immediate payment or have their service disconnected.
AEP said in a release that businesses seem to be targeted in this latest scam. Customers are ordered to purchase prepaid debit cards, such as a Vanilla or Green Dot, and call a toll-free number to provide the card information.
Officers with the Princeton Police Department told our sister station, 59News, that so far two calls have been reported. According to police, one person has been scammed out of $2,000.
Power company officials said the toll-free number scammers call from appears to be legitimate, along with a recording that plays when customers call the number back.
“This tactic is very concerning because the number provided and the recording sound legitimate,” said Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power spokesperson.
Matheney said if customers receive demanding or urgent phone calls from someone claiming to be with Appalachian Power or AEP, they suggest you hang up and contact the power company or local law enforcement.
In West Virginia, the toll free number for Appalachian Power is 800-982-4237; in Virginia, it is 800-956-4237.
Here are some tips consumers can use to stop a scammer: https://www.appalachianpower.com/account/bills/scams/