19:00 PM

Utility scammers have moved on to spoofing

Better beware of the latest utility scam. You get a phone call, and your caller ID says it’s your power company. If you call the number back to check, it even has a recording that sounds like your power company. But wait a minute – if they’re calling to tell you your bill is past due and you have to make a payment right now or have your power cut off, they’re really just scammers!

The latest scam involves “spoofing,” or making your phone think their call is coming from a legitimate company rather than who’s really on the line. The more sophisticated scammers have even copied or duplicated your power company’s recorded options to fool you further.

“More and more customers are reporting this scam. Please don’t fall for it,” says Jackson EMC Director of Customer Service Brent Cochran. “No matter how fancy they get with their schemes, just remember two things -- no real utility will call you and tell you to pay up right now or be cut off, and they definitely will not ask for payment by Green Dot or other cash cards.”

Cochran says if you’re worried about a past due bill, simply get your utility’s number from your phone book, your bill or their website and call them – not the number on your caller ID.