BBB Mississippi Warns Customers of Utility Company Scam

  
     
July 01, 2013

BBB serving Mississippi was contacted today about a utility scam targeting Entergy customers in the state of Louisiana. John O’Hara CEO of BBB serving Mississippi warns that these types of scams are like the weather, they start out in one area and spread out. “We want people in Mississippi to know about potential scams before they hit our state.” These scams will also move from utility company to utility company throughout any given area.

The scammers calls consumers to inform them that their utility bill is past due and their service is about to be disconnected. Then they offer several different ways for you to pay electronically, such as using a Green Dot MoneyPak card. These types of payments should be treated like cash and there is no way to retrieve money once it is used.

Entergy is offering tips for their customers and you should consult your utility company directly for their protocol.

  • While the company does place courtesy calls if you are at risk for disconnection, these are recorded calls, and are not calls from live customer service representatives. Entergy NEVER demands immediate payment.

  • While you may pay your Entergy bill by phone or credit card, it is ONLY through BillMatrix, a third-party vendor we use for this purpose.

  • You should never give your personal information to strangers. If a call sounds suspicious, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.

For additional information please visit Entergy’s website at:
http://entergymississippi1-px.rtrk.com/

Additional tips from BBB to help prevent consumers from falling victim to this scam and similar scams:

  1. If you receive a call from someone who is demanding payment immediately, you need to ask for a call back number and contact the business who they are calling for directly. Know who you are talking to.

  2. Never give out personal information such as social security numbers, banking account and routing information, or account information unless you have verified that you are actually speaking to proper company representatives.

  3. Avoid using prepaid debit cards or wire transfers when paying for service. There is often no recourse if you fall victim to a scam. Once the money is gone its gone.

  4. Keep records of all payments made and know what bills you have outstanding. This will also help you spot when someone is trying to scam you.


Contact BBB serving Mississippi if you suspect fraud or for additional tips and alerts at 601-398-1700 or 800-987-8280. Also visit our website at ms.bbb.org for information.