October 24, 2013
Thieves calling and posing as electric utility representatives continue to prey on unsuspecting consumers across the country, including members of Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.
The cooperative urges its members to be aware of this scam and never provide any caller with your personal or account information. If members receive a suspicious call at any time from someone claiming to be with Blue Ridge Electric, please feel free to hang up and call your local Blue Ridge Electric office to verify.
Once they receive confirmation it’s not an official Blue Ridge Electric call, members are strongly encouraged to report the call to their local law enforcement authorities.
A typical scam scenario happens as follows: A member receives an unsolicited phone call from someone who falsely claims to be a representative of the electric cooperative. That person tells the member that his or her service will be disconnected if the member does not make an immediate payment to the cooperative.
In some cases, the scammer insists on receiving payment within an hour and instructs the member to make a payment over the phone by credit card or e-check.
Scammers were previously targeting mainly Spanish speaking members, but they have branched out, and are now targeting members from many different backgrounds.
If members are unsure that it’s Blue Ridge Electric calling, hang up and call the cooperative’s office using the phone number listed on a bill, telephone director, BlueRidgeEMC.com or an official document of the cooperative.
Blue Ridge Electric urges its members to share this information with family and friends to help put a stop to it.