HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County Police Department issued a scam warning Friday to Duke Energy customers.
According to a news release, thieves pretending to represent the company have targeted and scammed customers.
The calls come from someone claiming to be a Duke Energy representative who says the customer's electricity will be disconnected unless the customer makes an immediate payment. Scammers have become sophisticated, duplicating voicemail and using caller-ID spoofing.
HCPD advises you to hang up immediately if any of the following things happen:
- The thief becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.
- Customers with delinquent accounts will receive an advance disconnection notification with the regular monthly bill – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.
- The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Duke Energy.
- Duke Energy, or any legitimate business, will never ask or require a customer to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.
- Legitimate companies allow customers to make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
- The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
- If you feel you are being scammed, call the police, then Duke Energy, using the number on your bill.