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PEC News




Beware of Phone Scams

Date: May 11, 2017
Topics: Press Releases

Phone scammers have recently been targeting PEC members in and around the Ada area. Don’t be duped by their latest tactics. Scammers are becoming more and more desperate to mislead consumers by utilizing PEC’s outbound caller ID’s.

The “past due” scam, goes something like this: A member gets a call from an 800-number that looks like a valid PEC phone number. Widely available spoofing software allows crooks to display what appears to be our official number on members’ caller IDs. The scammer threatens to cut off power if the member doesn’t pay.

But here’s the giveaway: The crook will demand payment via a prepaid debit card or money order. And he’ll ask for it within a specified time frame––often an hour or less.

The scammer may even quote an amount that sounds like your typical monthly bill. That way, the threat has even more credibility.

Scammers might direct the member to a specific store nearby that sells the prepaid cards and instruct the member to put money on the card and provide the card number to the scammer.

Some scammers have even been bold enough to contact potential victims in person, coming to the member’s house.

“Scams do happen. More commonly, though, it’s a member turning over personal information to a person they believe to be from People’s Electric Cooperative. We urge our members to always guard their personal accounting and banking information and never share this information with family, friends, or strangers,” Jennifer Boeck, PEC’s Vice-President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, warns.

Here are some tips on how to protect yourself:

  • • PEC will NEVER call and require you to purchase prepaid debit cards or money orders to avoid an immediate disconnection.

  • • If someone claiming to be from People’s Electric Cooperative calls and requests your personal information, hang up and call our office at 580-332-3031. No one from PEC will ever request confidential information unless you call us first.

  • • Members should only use methods authorized by PEC to pay their electric bills.

  • • PEC employees visit a home only in response to a service request. If a service call has not been scheduled or requested, do not allow the person to enter your house.

  • • Do not assume the name and number on your caller ID are legitimate. Caller IDs can be spoofed.

  • • Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

  • • Do not click links or call numbers in unexpected emails or texts – especially those asking for your account information.

  • • If you receive a call that sounds like it may be a scam, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up, call the police and report the incident to our office at 580-332-3031.

  • • Double check your current account balance by calling PEC’s account balance inquiry number at (580) 272-1507.

How you can help

You can alert your family members and friends. Share the scammers’ tactics described in this article or those you have heard about. You can also help raise awareness and warn others by reposting scam awareness information on social media; use the hashtag #stopscams.

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