New scam calls target utility consumers

Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative urges consumers to beware of scammers calling to collect payments on their utility bills.

“We have had several consumers tell us they received calls from people claiming they work for Coosa Valley Electric,” said Leland Fuller, CVEC General Manager. “Thankfully, these members called us instead of agreeing to the scammers demands.”

People have reported that the callers say they will immediately disconnect their power if the consumer does not send them a payment. The scammers instruct the consumers to call another number to make the payment. Often times, scammers will ask consumer to pay through Green Dot or a similar service. They do this so that these payments cannot be tracked to them.

CVEC personnel will never call active members to collect payments in this manner. The Cooperative mails reminders to consumers to let them know when bill payments are late.

“We definitely do not call threatening to disconnect service,” Mr. Fuller said. “Your best defense against scams is information. Know your account number and other information. If you suspect it’s a scam, just hang up and call us.”

Here are some more tips:

• Keep your power bill paid current; know where you stand with your power account and how much you owe on your bill; and make sure you know your account number or have it handy.

• If you get a call you suspect is suspicious, ask questions or simply hang up and call CVEC at 256-362-4180 or 1-800-273-7210 and choose options 1 or 3. Our friendly member service representatives will be glad to assist you.

• Never give out your account number or other personal information to someone who calls you.

“If you get a call you find suspicious, please tell us what you experienced, so we can inform our members about the scam,” Mr. Fuller said. “Information and communication are the best defenses we have against criminal activity of this nature.

Coosa Valley Electric, which serves nearly 17,000 consumers in Talladega, St. Clair, Shelby, Clay, Etowah and Calhoun counties, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative. Nationwide, some 1,000 cooperatives provide power to rural America, and more than 700 of those are members of Touchstone Energy.

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