Criminals and con-artists are using several scams to target co-op members. From fake energy audits, asking for payment via Green Dot prepaid cards and accessing your bank and credit account information, scammers are using several ploys involving your power bill to fraudulently obtain funds or gain your bank and personal information. When in doubt, refuse to make payment and ask for the caller’s name and phone number, then call us at 1-800-545-5735.
CAEC will never call and solicit information regarding your account or asking for payment. Here are several of the most popular scams targeting our area:
- Asking for phone payment: Someone pretending to be a CAEC representative calls and informs the member their account is past due and they must make a payment over the phone to avoid having their power disconnected. They may ask for payment in the form of a debit or credit card, bank account information or by funds transferred through a prepaid money card such as Green Dot.
- Asking for personal information: The caller informs the member they were selected to receive funds from a federal or state program to help pay their utility bills and asks for personal information such as bank accounts and routing numbers or their Social Security number.
- Suspicious People in the Field: In Kentucky, co-ops are reporting a man dressed as a utility worker and going to homes and demanding money under the threat of disconnection. CAEC employees never collect money in the field and any suspicious person should be reported or asked to show identification. Other cases in neighboring states include supposed co-op employees offering a home-walk-through energy audit. Thieves often use this ploy to gain access to a home or to learn the layout for a future burglary.
Remember, if something sounds suspicious, it more than likely is. Please report any activity you think might be a scam to CAEC at 1-800-545-5735.