Utility scams have been around for a long Lime; but scammers have recently changed their tactics as consumers rely more on technology for work, school, and commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Imposter scams are now the number one type of fraud reported to the Federal Trade Commission. While scam artists still may come to your door posing as someone who works for the “power company,” in today’s more connected world, attempts are more likely to come through an electronic device, via email, phone, or text.
Common types of scams
Cutoff con: A scammer may claim you are overdue on your electric bill and threaten to disconnect your service if you don’t pay immediately. Whether this is done in—person, by phone, text, or email, the scammers want to scare you into immediate payment, so you don’t have time to think clearly.
If this happens over the phone, simply hang up. If you’re concerned about your bill, call us at (843) 672—6111 or (800) 922—3486. If the scam is by email or text, delete it before taking any action. If you’re unsure, you can always contact us or use the LREC mobile app to check the status of your account. Remember, Lynches River will never attempt to demand immediate payment after just one notice.
Refund rip-off: Some scammers falsely claim you have been overcharged on your bill and they want to give you a refund. It sounds easy. All you have to do is click or press a button to initiate the process. If you proceed, you will be 2 SOUTH CAROLINA LIVING I JULY 2022 I SCLIVING.COOP In today’s connected world, scam attempts are more likely to come via email, phone, or text. Know the signs of a scam prompted to provide banking or other personal information. Instead of money going into your bank account, the scammers can drain your account and use personal information such as a Social Security number for identity theft.
If this “refund” scam happens over the phone, hang up and block the phone number to prevent future robocalls. If this scam attempt occurs via email or by text, do not click any links. Instead, delete it, and if possible, block the sender. If you do overpay on your energy bill, Lynches River will automatically apply the credit to your next billing cycle. When in doubt, always contact us.
Be wary of calls or texts from unknown numbers. Be suspicious of an unknown person claiming to be a utility worker who requests banking or other personal information.
Never let anyone into your home that you don’t know unless you have a scheduled appointment or reported a problem. When we perform work on our members’ property or come into your home, our employees are professionals and will always identify themselves.
We want to help protect our community against utility scams, and you can help create the ﬁrst line of defense. Please report any potential seams to us so we can spread the word to prevent others in the community from falling victim.