Scam artists want to steal your money. Across the state, electric cooperatives are reporting that members have been called by would-be scam artists preying on our good name to steal from the unwary.
The scam goes like this: A member gets a phone call demanding payment, or their electric service will be immediately disconnected. Those who provide credit card information to pay the alleged bill find themselves bilked out of whatever money the scammers demand. Some are told to go to convenience stores and purchase cash cards to pay the bills. The scammers take the numbers and the money is gone.
Electric cooperatives do not do business like this. Some do provide automated courtesy phone calls to let members know they may be facing disconnection for an overdue bill.
But in this case, the member is urged to call the cooperative to make arrangements or to drop off the payment at the office. If you get a phone call from someone demanding payment, hang up and call the cooperative at 1-800-392-0567 or 785-4631.
The latest twist is to scam businesses, probably because their bills tend to be much larger than a residential bill so the payback is greater. The calls are made after hours so the business owner feels a sense of desperation because they need to keep the business operating. Commercial consumers in the Doniphan area were called on February 22, 2016 and again on March 13, 2016 by an individual who said they were from the electric company and their electric bill had not been paid and if it is not paid now they would be disconnected. They were told to go to a local convenience store and purchase a cash card and call a telephone number and give them the number on the card.
It is sad to see that some people will prey on our good name in order to steal from those unwary enough to fall for their scams. Don’t let this happen to you! If in doubt, call us or stop by the office. We are always happy to discuss your bill with you.
If you are contacted and suspect it is a scam, please hang up and contact the electric cooperative at 1-800-392-0567 or 785-4631. We have a dispatcher on duty 24 hours a day every day of the year. You should also call the Missouri Attorney General’s ID Theft Hotline at 800-392-8222. Another option is to use the online form at www.ago.mo.gov.