A financially devastating utility scam that Clark warned you about a couple of years ago is back this winter -- and it’s even more sophisticated than it was before.
Don't fall for this widespread utility scam
Clark.com spoke with a Georgia Power customer who received a voicemail that said there was an outstanding balance on a small business account.
If the bill wasn’t paid right away, the scammer said a technician was in the area to shut off the power.
The bad guy told the customer that they wouldn’t accept a credit card payment, so the victim was instructed to buy a MoneyPak prepaid card from Walgreens.
To make a long story short, the victim ended up sending $1,250 to the phony power company.
When the customer called back to get a confirmation number for the payment, the scammer asked for more money and again threatened to shut off service.
That’s when the victim looked up Georgia Power’s number online and realized it was a scam.
Unfortunately for the person who shared their story with Clark.com, there’s no way to get your money back once the scammer has it.
So here’s what you need to know:
- Your power company will never call and ask you for bank information or a credit card number.
- Your power company will never come to your door and demand immediate payment.
If you’re behind on your power bill, most providers will send you written notice with instructions on how to avoid a service interruption.
Any communication by phone or email demanding immediate payment is most likely a scam.
One of the ways the scammers are getting more sophisticated is by using the exact same greetings and hold messages as the companies they’re impersonating.
Don’t fall for it. Verify the company’s customer service number on their official website.
Read more: Top 10 scams coming after your money!