There have been several recent incidents where customers have been approached by people pretending to be from Georgia Power.
What makes this case a little different is that the targets are not just residential customers, but includes local businesses. The customers are called and told they have a short deadline to make a payment. The scammer is asking them to go to a local retailer (like a Wal-Mart, 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.
Don’t be fooled by getting scammed. If you are in doubt, remember these simple tips about Georgia Power.
- We will NEVER come to your door and demand an immediate payment
- We will NEVER call and ask you for your bank information or a credit card number.
- If a Georgia Power employee has a service-related reason to come to your door, they will ALWAYS be wearing a Georgia Power employee ID badge. Other than a scheduled Energy Audit, there should be no reason any employee needs to enter your home.
- If you suspect someone at your door is impersonating a Georgia Power or government employee, DO NOT let them into your home! Immediately call your local police department and then call us at 1.888.660.5890.
- Scammers may claim to work for a public agency or government office offering ways to pay your Georgia Power bill. NEVER give anyone your credit card information or any Georgia power account information including a copy of your electric bill or account number, or any other personal banking information. Immediately call your local police department and then call us at 1.888.660.5890.
- If a situation seems legitimate but you’re not quite sure, please call Georgia Power at 1.888.660.5890 to verify.
If you ever have any questions about a possible scam or your Georgia Power account, call any time of day or night at 1.888.660.5890.
Another scam alerts relates to emails claiming to be an “Email Security Alert” and asking you to click on a link to “Verify your email account now.” These are scam designed to help thieves steal information from individuals and businesses.
Think before you click! Scammers know most email addresses are important to companies and individuals, who will always try to protect them.
The link to verify is simply bait which will download malware to your device, making it possible for scammers to capture passwords or hunt for sensitive information such as banking information as well as passwords.
BBB offers the following tips to avoid this and similar scams:
- Start With Trust®. Do not click on any links or attachments if you suspect fraud and report it to bbb.org/scamtracker.
- Read the email carefully for signs that it may be fake (for example, misspellings, grammar, generic greetings such as “Dear member” instead of a name, etc.).
- Be wary of any urgent instructions to take specified action such as “Click on the link to verify your account” or “Click on the link or your account will be closed.”
- Hover your mouse over links without clicking to see if the address is truly from the company it claims to represent. The URL in the text should match the URL that your mouse detects. If the two do not match, it is most likely a scam.
- Delete the email from your computer completely (be sure to empty your “trash can” or “recycling bin,” as well).
- Run anti-virus software updates daily and do a full system scan at least once a week.
- Keep a close eye on your bank statements for any unexpected or unexplained transactions.
- Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Be especially wary of messages you have not subscribed to or companies you have never done business with in the past.
- Don’t believe what you see. Just because an email looks real, doesn’t mean it is. Scammers can fake anything from a company logo to the “sent” email address.