SUMMERDALE, Ala. (WALA) - Should you receive a call saying your power will be cut off if you don't immediately pay your bill over the phone, take caution.
That's the scam Baldwin EMC said one of its customers reported to them recently.
Karen Moore with Baldwin EMC told us, "That is not our normal procedure for collecting money. We would never force a member to pay a bill, on demand, on the phone at that minute."
Moore said it's apparent this type of caller is phishing for personal information. It's a scam she's been following as it works its way across the country.
"I have been watching other electrical utilities across the nation warning of a possible phone scam so, when this happened to us, I was not surprised, (I) immediately wanted our members to be aware of it," Moore said.
So far, just one person has reported one of these calls but with 55,000 members, the utility co-op is afraid others could be victimized.
"We want to make sure, maybe some others did not call us. So we just want to alert them and make sure they know it's happening in our area now and try to avoid any other possibilities," Moore told us.
Common scam in other forms
Unfortunately, scare-tactic scams like this one are fairly common in phishing situations. The scammer may tell you that you have an unpaid credit card, or traffic ticket, and threaten legal action if you don't immediately pay.
If you get a call like that, hang up then call back the company in question.
In almost every case like this, fraud experts say you should always be the one to initiate a call where you need to give out personal information. Remember it's your money, it's your identity, ask questions, and stay alert.
If you're a Baldwin EMC member and received one of these phone calls let them know about. Call 1-800-837-3374.
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