EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - The Better Business Bureau of Central East Texas is warning area residents of people posing as Oncor Electric employees.
The BBB said Monday that it has received reports that businesses are receiving phone calls from people posing as delivery company employees and threatening them with disconnection of service for nonpayment.
The BBB advises residents to check with the company to determine whether or not a payment is owed.
"It is common in these cases for scammers to use utility terminology, and may even spoof caller ID to make them seem more believable", said Mechele Agbayani Mills, BBO president and CEO. "These cons may also create a sense of urgency, especially for businesses, by threatening to shut off power immediately if a payment is not made."
Oncor Electric representative Charles Hill reminded customers that employees will not need to come inside their residence.
"They also will all have uniforms and they will all have identification," Hill said.
The BBB provided a list of tips to remember if presented with a similar situation and said customers should be aware that Oncor employees will:
- Never threaten to disconnect service by phone or in-person.
- Never ask for Green Dot or prepaid cards.
- Never call to request credit card or banking information.
- Not ask to enter a home without a request for service or prior notification.
- Always arrive in a company vehicle, wearing a uniform and can produce identification upon request.
BBB suggested the following tips to businesses and consumers:
- Hang up the phone. Beware if you are asked to provide credit card numbers or banking information over the phone. Hang up and call the utility company directly to verify whether you owe money.
- Never give out personal information. Never give out your bank account numbers, date of birth, credit card number or Social Security number to unidentified individuals.
- Be informed. Find out what forms of payment your utility company accepts. If the caller is requesting a wire transfer or prepaid debit card payment, that’s a red flag. If you are
- visited by someone claiming to be an Oncor Electric Delivery Company representative, you can call (888) 313-6862 to confirm that the individual is an actual employee of the company.
- Keep numbers updated. If you are contacted by a utility company employee and asked for personal information, it is best to hang up and dial the number on your phone bill to be sure you are speaking with a legitimate representative.
- Get help. If you receive a phone call to make a wire transfer to pay a utility bill, report the incident immediately to your utility company, using the number found on your invoice.
If you are a victim of an impostor scam or wish to report fraudulent activity, please call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373. For more tips on how to be a savvy business owner, go to bbb.org.