Electric customers warned to avoid payment scam

Published 2:30 am Sunday, May 6, 2012

Coast Electric customers are urged to avoid a scam that alleges the federal government will pay their bill for them using federal government funds.

The problem is that the bank account information the scam asks customers to use to pay the bill is fraudulent, and will end up not paying the bill at all. That could lead to power being cut off, according to a release from Coast Electric. The scam asks customers to call a 1-800 number, and even asks customers to provide their personal bank account information, said Communications Specialist April Lollar.

According to the release, the federal bank account information that is alleged to pay the customer’s bill is not legitimate, causing the e-check transaction to ultimately be rejected, no matter if the payment is made by phone or online. While no Coast Electric customer has attempted to remit payment using this method yet, the release urges customers to avoid the scam.

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Some ways the release states customers can protect themselves from scams include never sharing personal account information with anyone, even family and friends. If someone calls to ask for account information, even if they say they are from Coast Electric, decline to provide that information.

“Nobody from Coast Electric is going to call you and ask for account information,” Lollar said. “Our member service reps have access to account information.”

If a person alleging to be a Coast Electric employee comes to a customer’s door, the release states to ask for identification. All employees wear badges, a uniform and drive vehicles with Coast Electric’s logo and other identification.

Another tip is if the offer or situation is too good to be true, it’s usually a scam, the release states.