Pioneer Electric warns of scam

Published 12:12 pm Friday, July 12, 2013

GREENVILLE — Pioneer Electric Cooperative members as well as the general public should be aware of a current phone scam where crooks are posing as customer service agents to steal personal information.

According to Pioneer Electric, this is how the scam is being run: Scammers call members claiming to be from Pioneer Electric Cooperative (or their utility provider). The scammers say there are past due payments and the account is in jeopardy of being disconnected. The caller advises members to make a payment either immediately on the phone via credit card, by calling a special number or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.

Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Pioneer Electric does not follow this practice.

Email newsletter signup

Company officials said, when Pioneer Electric contacts a member, the representative will always have the members’ account number. Even then, if members are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, Pioneer Electric said, members should let the caller know they’d prefer to call them back at the utility’s published customer service number.

“You should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security,” advised Angela Green, community specialist in a release Friday. “Switching to paperless billing may also provide more security by avoiding potential theft of utility bills from the mailbox or trash can.”

Pioneer Electric can be reached any time, toll free at 1-800-239-3092.

Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information — such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they’re told to send money — and to report the incident and the information to local police and Pioneer Electric.