Scam Involving Fake Checks Reported
Jackson EMC is advising people who receive unexpected checks in the mail from the cooperative to be cautious of a potential scam.
The cooperative has recently received reports of criminals sending fake checks that appear to come from Jackson EMC to individuals and companies in an attempt to receive a money order from potential victims. The criminals may also send a text message to targeted victims giving them additional instructions to avoid the check being quickly declined. Many of the targeted recipients live outside Georgia.
Jackson EMC sends margin refund checks to eligible members in December and deposit refund checks throughout the year. If members are not expecting a check from the cooperative and they receive a check in the mail, they’re advised to contact Jackson EMC to verify its authenticity.
This latest scam comes as the U.S. is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scammers are known to take advantage of potential victims during times of crisis. Jackson EMC is encouraging the public to remain vigilant to potential scams.
To avoid becoming a victim of scams like one and others, consider following these tips:
- Always ask questions. Ask the person calling, visiting, emailing or texting you to provide you with your account information, last payment amount, date of payment, and his/her employee identification number. If they are a legitimate representative of the company, they would have that information available, according to Utilities United. If not, hang up the phone, close the door or don’t respond to text messages.
- Take your time. Beware of calls, in-person visits, texts or emails asking you to act quickly – usually within a few hours. Don’t be rushed. Tell them you will verify whether the request is legitimate with the utility. While a scammer will discourage you from contacting the utility, a real utility representative will encourage you to do so for your peace of mind.
- Protect your personal information. Never provide or confirm personal information (Social Security number, date of birth) or financial information (bank account information or debit/credit card information) to anyone initiating contact with you, whether by phone, in-person, or email, claiming to be a utility company representative.
- Report the scam. Document the information the scammer told you, including the name they provided you, their caller ID or text number, the method and amount of payment they requested and any other details that may help in a possible criminal investigation. Report the scam to Jackson EMC.