Phone scam targets Horry Electric customers

New phone scam hits Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - If you are a customer of Horry Electric Cooperative, police want you to be wary of a new scam trying to get your banking information.

According to the post on the Horry County Police Department's Facebook page, customers of the utility company have recently received calls from a number outside of Horry County, stating the customer is behind on their payments.

The Carolina Food Mart on Forestbrook Road was a victim of this scam recently. Owner Pranav Sheth said his co-worker, another owner answered the phone call that came from a "843" area code.

"He called and he informed him that my electric bill is not paid," Sheth said.

The caller said he was a representative for Horry Electric and needed the store's credit card number right away or his power would be shut off.

"I have to make a payment right away through the credit card or cash or check or something like that, otherwise they are gonna disconnect my electric line," Sheth said.

But Sheth's partner didn't fall for the scam because he knew he was current on his bill.

The caller threatens that your power will be shut off if you do not pay the balance over the phone. If you give the caller your credit card number, it will then be used fraudulently.

Representatives for Horry Electric say they do not call you directly when your bill is overdue. They first send a second statement - either through the mail or by email - and then make an automated phone call from a local number before the power is shut off.

Horry Electric insists that you call their customer service number at 843-369-2211 if you have questions about your account.

If you feel that you have become a victim of this scam, you are encouraged to call 843-248-1520 to have an Horry County Police Officer come out and speak with you.

Horry County Sgt. Robert Kegler said the county has received a handful of call on this specific scam. Sgt. Kegler said as soon as one person is the victim of a scam, it becomes a serious police matter.

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