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  Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative  
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CONSUMERS ARE WARNED OF SCAM

 

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative (MEC) has been alerted to a new scam that targets the customers of utility companies. Consumers are being contacted in person and through fliers, social media, and text messages with claims that President Obama is providing credits or applying payments to utility bills.  To receive the money, scammers claim they need the consumers' social security number and bank routing number.  In return, customers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills.

 

At this point, the scammers have the name and Social Security number of the victims, which is all that is needed to commit identity theft. The victims are left thinking they have valid banking information and attempt to make an electronic payment online through their utility. In some instances, victims may think the program is valid because it will appear that the payment has processed when the account shows a zero balance. Unfortunately, these payments are rejected by the bank as fraudulent account numbers and returned to the utility in a manner similar to a returned check. Ultimately, victims are left owing their utility bill and possibly returned-check fees, as well as losing their identity.

 

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative suggests the following actions to its members and to customers of other utilities: 

·         Never provide your Social Security number, credit card number, or banking information to anyone requesting it over the phone or at your home unless you initiated the contact and feel confident with whom you are speaking.

·         If you receive a call claiming to be your utility company and feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill.

·         Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, natural gas pipes, or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or have reported a utility problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification.

·         Always think safety first. Do not give in to high pressure tactics over the phone for information or in person to get into your home.

“Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is not contacting members requesting their Social Security numbers,” says President and CEO John Lee, adding “We hope this information will help protect our members and prevent people in our area from being victims of the scam.”

 

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative is the not-for-profit consumer-owned energy provider to over 31,000 homes, farms and businesses located in portions of nine counties.  It is headquartered in Chase City with district offices in Chase City, Emporia, and Gretna. 

 

 
 
 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer

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