A phone scam that has victimized hundreds of people across South Carolina is being investigated by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), according to South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson.
The scheme begins with a phone call by someone pretending to be an electric cooperative employee. The caller warns the consumer that utility service to their home or business will be disconnected unless they receive immediate payment. Scammers then direct consumers to purchase a pre-paid debit card (available at many convenience stores and pharmacies) and to call a toll-free number to deliver the serial code listed on the card. Once armed with this information, scammers have effectively stolen the money used to obtain the card.
Consumers should be aware for the following:
· Your electric cooperative will not call or email you asking you to share your account number or password. Do not share this information with anyone.
· Do not assume you can trust caller ID to let you know where the caller is located. Scammers are using new technology that disguises their actual location.
· Your electric cooperative will not contact you by phone to discuss the termination of service. If you receive a phone call saying your electricity is being disconnected, hang up and call law enforcement immediately.