A family called the office today, concerned about a new fraud that is hitting the region.
A very articulate person calls, claiming to be from the accounts department of an electric utility. The caller ID number supports their alleged claim, and they inform the head of household that electricity to the residence will be cut off by midnight if they do not make the missed payment and pay a premium to prevent disconnection.
The caller instructs the customer to obtain a prepaid card for $300 and call him back with the account and verification code. The $300 is transferred from the prepaid card to the person making the call—not to any legitimate utility company.
This is happening today, in Rowan County, North Carolina. And please understand that legitimate utility companies do not ask you to purchase prepaid cards, gift cards, or wire transfers in order to prevent disconnections.
Consumer Tip: If you receive such a call, do NOT follow their instructions. Get their call back number. Then call your utility provider at the number listed on your latest monthly statement, to verify with them the status of your account. NEVER buy a prepaid card to give to some unknown caller! And use the their return phone number to call your local law enforcement agency, so that they may investigate BEFORE you lose your hard-earned money.