Unwanted calls from unknown numbers are annoying. Calls from familiar numbers requesting money can be alarming and can cost you anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.
Scammers are becoming more organized and skillful in their tactics to employ prompt responses. Well-organized scammers tend to spoof or replicate the phone number that appears on your caller ID to make it look like you are receiving an incoming call from a Union Power representative. Scammers tend to utilize aggressive and intimidating tactics to prompt a swift response from members. The typical script used for an energy provider scam call is an alert that you are behind on your energy bill, your account is delinquent and will result in your electricity being shut off within an hour or the same day if you don’t pay. If you missed the call, you may receive a text message stating you owe a specific amount of money to avoid disconnection.
Scammers recognize the importance of electricity in our daily lives, and often run utility scams to take advantage of members. As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are aware of the increasing number of fraudulent calls made to members. The common misconception is scammers target older adults and they are typical to become victim. Truth is, anyone is at risk of being scammed. Successful scammers master in manipulative tactics.
Don't fall victim
Here are a few tips to help you handle calls from scammers:
Don’t give out your personal or financial information.
Scammers do not know a lot about you. They could have gained access to your name, phone number, and address from public records. Scammers will often ask probing questions to gain additional access to your information. Do not fall for it! Never give out personal information including account numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden name, passwords, birth date, or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls.
Take your time.
Don’t’ feel pressured to make a decision immediately; this extra step can save you time and money. Hang up and call Union Power (704-289-3145) to speak to a customer service representative even if the telephone number matches. Union Power does not request nontraditional payment methods for your energy service.
Know the basic details of your energy bill and payment history.
It is always good to check your account status prior to responding to a request for payment. Union Power offers several ways to monitor your energy account. Sign in to your account on union-power. com for 24-hour access, or you can call 704-289-3145 to speak with a customer service representative Monday-Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
As your energy provider, Union Power Cooperative prides ourselves on providing you with an exceptional member experience. Your safety is important to us and we want to ensure you do not fall victim to scams. Find out more about your electric cooperative.