“If at first you don’t succeed – try, try again” – seems to be the motto of certain scam artists falsely using the name of electric utilities across the southeast, most recently in portions of Western Tennessee.
This same con game was reported in our area several weeks ago, and Sarah Bright with the Cherokee Electric Co-op, would like to put Co-op customers on notice that it may very well be coming back around.
Last time out the scam worked like this – someone would call claiming to be with Cherokee Electric; they would then tell that person his or her account was overdue and the electricity to their home would be cut-off “within the next 45 minutes”
The caller would then ask for a credit or debit card number to settle the so-called “overdue bill”, thus preventing their power being turned off.
This, is of course, just another scam.
Bright says even though Cherokee Electric may call a customer with a past-due bill to give them notice regarding their service – they will never threaten to cut off service “within the next 45 minutes” or ASK for payment over the phone; they will accept payment should the customer offer to pay in that manner – but certainly will not attempt to “hold the customer hostage”.
A good rule of thumb is to NEVER pay by phone unless YOU contact the provider yourself – that way you know you’re speaking with the right person.
If you receive a suspicious call asking for money – simply hang up – then contact Cherokee Electric Co-op to make a report of the incident at (256) 927-5524.