ROCKINGHAM – With the holiday season comes many good things, but Duke Energy is keeping customers and local residents aware of potential unwanted business.
Technology has made it easier for scammers to work, and Duke Energy is reminding people that as the New Year approaches, scammers have been working overtime to victimize customers.
Phone scams seem to be the scammer’s go-to, since there is no face to describe to authorities. Scammers are also able to manipulate the phone system. But it’s not to be forgotten that scammers can also use email and in-person methods, too.
According to Duke Energy, there are many ways that scammers trick Duke Energy customers into paying false bills. One way is telling the victim their account is past due, and they must pay with a prepaid debit card or any other hard-to-trace method. Duke Energy never requires payment from a prepaid debit card.
Another method is to threaten to turn off the power if payment isn’t immediately made. Duke Energy always mails out a disconnection notice ahead of time, and never demands payment.
Scammers tend to call at all times during the day or night, including weekends, and it should be noted that Duke Energy never calls on weekends. Also, scammers sometimes claim that customers have overpaid on their energy bill and ask for bank account information to refund money. It should be noted that Duke Energy also never calls to request bank account information or credit card information in order to provide a refund.
Scammers will not know account information, therefore customers facing this situation can ask the potential scammer to give the account number or the date that service began. More than likely, they will not be able to provide the correct information.
Duke Energy customers should also be aware of a recording that will play if they call back the number they contacted by. Duke Energy Carolina’s phone number is 800-777-9898 and Duke Energy Progress’ number is 800-452-2777.
In addition to the aforementioned methods, scammers also have a way to manipulate caller ID to actually show Duke Energy’s number. Customers are encouraged to hang up and call back one of the official numbers listed above if they have any suspicion.
This holiday season, Duke Energy wants its customers to be aware of the red flags, and be safe and not sorry.
Visit duke-energy.com/stopscams for more tips on scammers and how to protect yourself from them.
The RO reached out to Duke Energy for comment, but no comment was given in time for this publication.