Today, Wednesday, November 17 is being marked by electric, water and natural gas utilities across the country as National Utility Scam Awareness Day. Unfortunately, utility scams perpetrated by criminals are just one of the common fraud tactics which resulted in more than 2 million reports (link: New Data Shows FTC Received 2.2 Million Fraud Reports from Consumers in 2020 | Federal Trade Commission) to the Federal Trade Commission in 2020.
Georgia Power is committed to helping customers avoid scams and urges electric customers across Georgia to be cautious if contacted by any unverified person claiming to be a Georgia Power representative. As scammers’ methods and technology evolves, many recently reported attempts show scammers are even able to “spoof” or cause Georgia Power’s actual phone number to be displayed on phones, so customers should directly dial Georgia Power instead of attempting to call back on the number displayed from one of these attempts.
A short audio recording of one of the actual scam calls is below.
Georgia Power does not:
- Ask a customer to provide a credit card or pre-paid debit card number over the phone.
- Call customers to set up automatic payments, to “update” sensitive account information or to ask customers to “pay for a new meter.”
- The company also does not send employees into the field to collect payment in person or ask a customer to pay with currencies like Bitcoin or to pay anywhere other than an Authorized Payment Location (APL).
How to avoid getting scammed:
- If a customer receives a suspicious call from someone claiming to be from Georgia Power and demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection, the customer should hang up and direct-dial the company’s customer service line at 888-660-5890.
- As scammers have tried to promote the use of fraudulent 800 numbers, customers should always check to make sure they are calling the correct Georgia Power customer service line at 888-660-5890, which can be verified at www.GeorgiaPower.com/ContactUs.
- Delete all emails that demand immediate payment or personal information or that are from a company that is not Georgia Power.
- If an account becomes past due, Georgia Power will contact the customer via a pre-recorded message to the primary account telephone number or by letter requesting that the customer call 888-660-5890 to discuss the account. This pre-recorded message will not ask customers to remain on the line, or press a number to speak to a representative immediately.
- In the rare event that an employee needs to visit a customer’s home or business for a service-related issue, they will be in uniform and present a badge with a photo, their name and the company’s name and logo. They will also be in a vehicle marked with the company’s logo.
Georgia Power continues to work with law enforcement agencies throughout the state to identify and prosecute criminals who pose as Georgia Power employees to defraud customers. Additional information about frequent scams and how the company works to protect customers is available at www.GeorgiaPower.com/Scams.
To learn more about how you can defend yourself against scammers and avoid falling victim to common mistakes, follow Georgia Power on Facebook (Facebook.com/GeorgiaPower), Twitter (Twitter.com/GeorgiaPower) and Instagram (Instagram.com/ga_power).
SOURCE Georgia Power