RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s attorney general is warning Duke Energy customers to watch for a new phone scam in which the caller claims the customer’s power bill is overdue, according to a recent press release.
Attorney General Roy Cooper said the scammers are calling Duke Energy customers saying their power will be cut off if they don’t pay their bill immediately.
“Scammers continue to make calls threatening consumers and small businesses to pay up or lose power, and we’re concerned that the cold weather will give their threats extra force,” Cooper said.
Cooper says “Duke Energy” shows up on the caller ID and the victims are told to pay their bill by putting money onto a prepaid card.
There have been 42 victims in North Carolina so far this year.
Recent reports include a Durham restaurant that lost $700, a Raleigh shop that lost $500, a Clayton deli and grocery that lost $813, a Charlotte spa that lost $495, and a restaurant in Oriental that lost more than $2,500.
Individual consumers in Greenville, Winston-Salem and Henderson County also reported paying money to the scammers.
It’s likely that there are additional North Carolina victims who have not yet come forward.
Cooper said those responsible for these types of scams often end up being from other countries.
Duke Energy said to always contact the company directly with questions about a bill.
To protect yourself, remember:
- Duke Energy never asks customers with delinquent accounts to pay by prepaid debit card to avoid having their service disconnected. Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person.
- If you get one of these calls, hang up and report it to the Attorney General’s Office at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or online at www.ncdoj.gov.
- If you’re concerned there may really be a problem with your power, contact Duke Energy or your electricity provider at a number you know to be valid, such as the one listed on your monthly bill.
- Duke Energy customers can also report the calls to Duke Energy Progress at 1-800-452-2777 or Duke Energy Carolinas at 1-800-777-9898. Duke Energy customers can also visit duke-energy.com for additional fraud awareness information.