Be Scam Aware: Outwit Imposters’ Tactics
It’s the kind of unexpected call that grabs your attention: “Pay now or your electricity will be turned off immediately.”
Based on recent reports, increasingly consumers in the United States are getting these types of phone calls – often called spoofing – from criminals pretending to be utility providers. In many cases, caller ID may even identify the fake calls as coming from the name of a legitimate company, like Jackson EMC.
Criminals are not only using scare tactics to fool you into paying fake fees, they’re also using clever targeting to make you pay immediately.
While the pitches can be very convincing, you can spot the signs of an imposter:
- Requesting Payment with a Prepaid Credit Card: Jackson EMC will never call you and tell you to pay your bill with a prepaid credit card, like Green Dot or MoneyPak. Scammers oftentimes target non-English speaking members and tell them to pay with a Green Dot card. For acceptable ways to pay your bill, visit jacksonemc.com/waystopay.
- Urgency: Scammers tell you to act fast – typically while you’re still on the phone with them. Hang up and call the customer service number on your bill or your utility company’s website. Jackson EMC: 1-800-462-3691.
- Threatening to Disconnect Your Power: Without immediate payment for a fee or bill, scammers will say your electricity will be turned off very soon. Jackson EMC will send a reminder letter before making a courtesy call to past-due account holders.
- Personal Information: At some point, scammers may ask for your credit card number, Social Security number or account number. You should only provide this type of information in phone calls you initiate with trusted companies.
Be Wary of In-Person Visits
Besides phone calls, criminals have been known to make in-person visits at homes and businesses claiming an account is past due and the electricity will be turned off. Jackson EMC never sends representatives to homes and businesses to collect past due payments. For more information on how to safeguard your information, visit jacksonemc.com/safety-and-security.