Nashville Electric Service (NES) warns that scammers are once again targeting NES customers.
All it takes is a spoofed caller ID phone call and a convincing lie claiming to be from Nashville Electric Service (NES) or another local utility provider. These phone scammers claim to be calling to alert the customer that their utility account is delinquent and electric service will be shut off within hours unless a payment is made NOW. Small business owners, non-English speaking customers and the elderly are the frequent target in this scam.
The added credibility of this scam is the use of ‘spoofing’ technology that makes caller ID display the name and phone number of the local utility company. The scammer insists that a payment must be made with one hour to prevent the power from being disconnected.
The scammer refuses to take a credit card or check by phone payment. Instead customers are instructed to purchase a prepaid card, iTunes card or load a Green Dot Money Card purchased at local retail outlets. The scammer then calls back within hours asking for the account numbers on the back of the card.
DON’T FALL FOR IT!
An important feature of prepaid cards, iTunes cards or the Green Dot Money Pak card is that once the purchaser gives out the scratch off number on the back, a scammer can remotely access the cash and place it onto another cash load card and the money is instantly gone and virtually impossible to trace. A local Nashville business reports loosing $2,000 in what he thought was a legitimate effort to keep electric service from being disconnected. All done anonymously in a phone call by a scammer pretending to represent NES.
If someone calls threatening to cut off your electric service if you don’t pay NOW, hang up. This is a scam, CALL NES at 615-736-6900 to report the scam and check your account. Utility companies will never call and threaten immediate service disconnection. A lengthy process takes place; typically involving multiple written notices to the customer advising the account is delinquent.
If you are concerned about your account, call the utility company using a telephone number on an old bill or look the number up.
DO NOT USE THE TELEPHONE NUMBER THAT IS ON YOUR CALLER ID
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