Rep. Arnold - Telephone scams target businesses

Posted by: Kathryn Frakes  | Friday, November 13, 2015

All utility customers should be on alert. Posing as customer service representatives from Duke Energy, scammers are calling businesses to warn them that their electric service will be disconnected unless they make immediate payment.

Scammers have become sophisticated enough to duplicate Duke Energy customer service phone messages. After receiving a voicemail, a customer calls back the phone number provided by the scammer and it sounds exactly like the company phone greeting. It is also common for scammers to replicate Duke Energy's customer service number on caller ID.

There are a lot of scams that occur every day, all with the same intent to take your hard-earned money. Here are a few of red flags of a likely scam:

        · Watch for angry callers who tell you that your account is past due and your service will be disconnected if a large payment is not made.

        · Beware of instructions to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card and then call the representative back with the card’s receipt number and                 PIN number. This grants instant access to the card's funds and is a key component of most scams.

It is important to remember that companies like Duke Energy never ask or require a customer with a past due account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection. Customers have the option to make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.

In response to these scamming threats, the Indiana Attorney General has created multiple online tools to alert Hoosiers of potential dangers and scams available at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral. Resources like the ID Theft Prevention Toolkit were created to assist victims in correcting their records after a scam and to help consumers take the necessary steps to minimize their risk of identity theft.

Additionally, the toolkit allows Hoosiers to keep an accurate record of financial information, so creditors can be contacted quickly if any information is ever lost or stolen. This is a great resource that will hopefully limit the number of Hoosiers victimized by fraud.  

As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact my office at (317) 232-9793 or via email at h74@in.gov.

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.