Don’t Fall Victim to Utility Scams - Carolina Country
July 2021

Every day, millions of Americans are targeted by scammers through phone calls, emails, text messages, online or in person. Over the years, several Randolph EMC members have been targeted through a phone scam where the caller demanded immediate payment and threatened to shut off power if the money was not received. Remember, Randolph EMC will never call you and demand immediate payment without notice.

We want you to be aware of two trending scam tactics. One is the overpayment trick, where a scammer contacts you and claims that you have overpaid your utility bill and your personal banking information is needed to deposit the credit back to your checking account. Don’t fall for this scam! If you make an overpayment on your energy bill, Randolph EMC will automatically apply the credit to your account, which will carry over to your next billing cycle.

Another trending scam is smishing (short for SMS phishing) through text messaging. Always question suspicious texts, especially from someone claiming to represent a utility. Randolph EMC will only send you important updates via text if you’ve signed up to receive alerts in this way. These are just a couple examples of trending scams, so it’s important to watch for any red flags.

Here are a few reminders on how to take control of the situation when you’ve been targeted by a scammer:

1Take your time. Utility scammers try to create a sense of urgency so that you’ll act fast and hand over personal information, especially over the phone. Take a moment to think about the situation before acting.

2Be suspicious. Scammers typically request immediate payments through prepaid debit cards or third-party apps. Unusual requests like this should raise red flags. Remember, if the request seems strange and out of the ordinary, you’re likely being targeted by a scammer.

3Confirm before you act. If you’re contacted by someone claiming to represent Randolph EMC or another utility but you’re unsure, just hang up the phone and call the utility directly.

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