Scam Artist Preys On Cooperative Members
September 19th, 2014
By Heather Vaughan
Sanford, N.C., - September 19, 2014- There’s a new way for scammers to steal from Cooperative members. Investigators say criminals are calling people, claiming to be a part of a collections agency, plus telling the particular member he or she has only 23 minutes left to pay an overdue bill. Fearful of losing power, several individuals have rushed out and put money on reloadable debit cards for these crooks. Payment options such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards are helpful when it comes to paying bills and come in handy when you don’t want a bank account. However, these convenience store items are hard to track thus making it easy for scammers to strike!
Some victims also tell Central Electric that the unknown callers are clever and handle confrontation well over the phone. Recently one of our members questioned his attacker, but willingly handed over a large amount of money in the end, after the caller gave him reasonable responses regarding the call.
Keep in mind, Central Electric Membership Corporation will initiate the following steps if a member is in danger of being cut-off:
1.) A mailed notice will be sent stating the account is overdue.
2.) A second mailed notice will be sent around two weeks later restating the balance and impending loss of power.
3.) Our automated system will call the individual the night before the cut-off.
If you receive a call like this, please call Central Electric or your utility company first at (919) 774-4900. Our customer service department is available 24/7. We also have an automated system should you need it. DO NOT give anyone cash, your bank account or credit card numbers without knowing their identity first.