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Local Scam Warning

 

 

 In the past few weeks, utilities all across the area have received calls from consumers reporting scams.

 

 

 

The scam is always the same story. A consumer receives a phone call from someone who said their payment had been denied, or never received, and demands immediate payment or they would shut off their power. There are two main utility scams:

  • Scam #1 The Green Dot Card Scam: Scammers insist they need to pay their bill immediately or they will be disconnected. They tell them to purchase green dot money cards and call them with the verification codes.
  • Scam #2 Phishing: Scammers insist they need to pay their bill immediately or they will be disconnected. They ask them to verify the credit card or bank account they used to pay their bill.

 

If you receive a suspicious call or a visit from someone telling you the electric service will be disconnected unless you provide a debit or credit card or a personal financial account number, close the door or hang up and contact the cooperative office. After calling  

Lorain-Medina Rural Electric directly to confirm we did not contact you, notify your local authorities. However, if the person is at your home, please be safe and contact the local authorities for assistance.

 

If a Lorain-Medina Rural Electric employee contacts you by phone, it is the policy of 

Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative to NEVER request confidential, personal financial information - like a credit card number or checking/savings routing and account numbers. When a member is asked to pay a delinquent bill they are re-directed to the cooperative's automated system or asked to make a payment using SmartHub online. Chances are, anyone contacting members asking for a payment is not employed or authorized by the cooperative.

A member should never be surprised by a pending disconnection of electric service. Members will receive their regular bill showing a past due amount and a delinquent notice sent via the U.S. mail. Members also receive a phone call from the cooperative office notifying them of a pending disconnection of service.      

 

Tips for Spotting a Scam:

 

Because Lorain-Medina Rural Electric does sometimes contact members by phone, it can be difficult to tell a scammer from a member representative. Here are some tips:

  • If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card, this is a red flag.
  • If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call the cooperative's office. The phone number is on the bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative of the cooperative.
  • Never allow anyone into your home to check electrical wiring, or appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask employees for proper identification.

 

 

 

Have you signed up for SmartHub?

Download the FREE SmartHub app for your smartphone or tablet to make paying and managing your electric bill even simpler!

  Click here to learn more about SmartHub. 

 
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