Officials from Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) has reported that multiple instances of criminals posing as SWEPCO representatives contacting customers and demanding immediate payment for their electric bill. The scammers are utilizing phone calls, visits in person and online tactics.
If someone contacts you with threats to disconnect electric service unless an immediate payment is made – typically using a prepaid card or another non – traceable form of payment, be alert that you are likely the target of a scam.
According to Karen Wissing, SWEPCO spokesperson, “these scammers are targeting vulnerable groups of people, including seniors, non – native English speakers and small business owners. If you believe a scammer has contacted you, hang up the phone immediately, delete the email or shut the door on the individual. You can verify the status of your account by contacting SWEPCO.
SWEPCO employees do not call customers demanding immediate payment or insist that customers purchase a prepaid debit/cash card to pay a bill. Scammers typically threaten disconnection of electric service and demand that the customer purchase a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card, and ask for the card number, granting the scammer instant access to the cards funds.
If someone approaches you in person, ask to see an ID badge. SWEPCO personnel should be wearing appropriate company attire (logo shirts, hard hats or ball caps). Look for a SWEPCO truck parked outside. You can also verify callers or visitors claiming to be from SWEPCO by calling the customer service line.