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News With winter on the way, scammers threatening electricity shut off

Recent chilly temperatures remind us that winter is on the way. Now cold-hearted scammers are using the threat of a power cutoff to try to scare some consumers into paying bills they don’t actually owe.

Not long ago we warned you about a similar scam aimed at customers of the state’s largest electrical utility company. Now, the crooks are targeting consumers served by North Carolina’s electrical cooperatives.

The scammers tell customers that they owe money on their utility bill, and that their power will be disconnected if they do not pay immediately. The consumer is told to purchase a pre-paid credit card and provide the card’s account number, or send the card by mail.

People who have difficulty speaking and understanding English often feel at a disadvantage, and they may be especially vulnerable to fast-talking con artists like these utility scammers.

Remember, legitimate utility company employees won’t contact you and demand payment this way. If you have a question about your utility account and whether or not you owe money, contact the company at a valid number or website, such as one listed on your monthly bill.

Report possible scams to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at http://www.ncdoj.gov/.


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