Alabama Power urges customers to be aware of scammersPublished 10:10am Thursday, May 23, 2013
Before residents let Alabama Power representatives into their home or business this summer they should be sure they are dealing with legitimate Alabama Power employees, as multiple customers have recently reported being scammed by people pretending to work for the power company.
Alabama Power authorities released a statement on their website confirming the scam, reporting several recent incidents where customers, both residential and commercial, have been approached by scammers.
According to Alabama Power, what makes this case different from other scams is that the targets are not just residential customers, but include local businesses.
The scam works like this — the customers are called and told they have a short deadline to make a payment. The scammer then asks them to go to a local retailer like a Walmart, CVS or Walgreens to purchase a money pack for the given amount. They are then instructed to call another number to share the account number on that prepaid card. In some cases, they get an answering machine that says, “This is Alabama Power,” and ask the customer to leave the information on a recording.
Alabama Power urges customers to remember a few key facts to avoid being scammed.
First they stressed their company will never come to the door and demand an immediate payment. They also noted they will never ask for customers’ bank information or a credit card number over the phone.
According to Alabama Power representatives, any Alabama Power employee who comes to the door for any reason will have company identification that he or she will gladly show. If there are any questions about whether a person actually works for Alabama Power, call Alabama Power at 1-800-245-2244 and do not let him or her inside the home.
Scammers often claim they represent a public agency or government office, offering grants that can pay an Alabama Power or other utility bill. Never provide anyone making this claim credit card information, Alabama Power Company bill information or account number or any personal banking information. If someone makes this claim, call Alabama Power or the local police department to report it.
If customers have any questions about the status of their Alabama Power account, call Alabama Power Customer Service day or night, seven days a week, at 1-800-245-2244.