Saturday, November 22, 2014

Consumers: Beware of Potential S.C. Utility Scams


South Carolina utilities have joined with the South Carolina attorney general, South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs and AARP South Carolina during International Fraud Awareness Week to warn consumers about a sophisticated phone scam victimizing customers here in South Carolina and across the country.
 
Utility customers across the state have reported instances of individuals falsely portraying themselves as utility employees over the phone. The scammer warns the customer that they're late on their utility bill or might need a new meter, and that their electric service will be cut off if they don't pay immediately. The scammer then instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card and tells them to call back with the numbers on the card.
 
"Utilities, including SCE&G, never ask customers to purchase payment cards for bill payment purposes," said SCE&G President Keller Kissam. "If you ever doubt the legitimacy of a caller, hang up and immediately call your utility to verify, as well as your local law 
enforcement agency."
 
"This type of request is a huge red flag," said Carri Grube Lybarker, Administrator of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. "We receive thousands of scam reports a year, but hope with more awareness the public will be better equipped so they do not become victims."

For more detail, see Santee Cooper NewsRelease.

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