REC warns of bill paying scam

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, July 18, 2012

AHOSKIE – Don’t be tricked by an apparent scheme that targets customers of utility companies across the nation.

Officials with Roanoke Electric Cooperative, based in Ahoskie, are urging its members to be aware of a utility bill-paying scam affecting customers in North Carolinaand nationwide. The scam falsely claims households are eligible for utility bill credits through a new federal program. No such program exists.

According to the Better Business Bureau, scammers contact consumers door-to-door and through phone calls, fliers, social media and text messages and ask for social security and bank routing numbers. Often, President Obama’s name is mentioned.  In return, consumers are given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. In reality, there is no money, and customers believe they have paid their bills when in fact they have not.  Additionally, consumers put themselves at risk for identity theft when they give out personal information.

Roanoke Electric Cooperative officials said they do not contact members to obtain personal identifiable information and to beware of anyone requesting this information.  When in doubt of the identity of someone claiming to represent Roanoke Electric Cooperative in person or over the phone, members should call 252-209-2236 for verification of identity and need for service.

“Roanoke Electric Cooperative is committed to providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity, while enhancing the quality of life in the diverse communities we serve,” said a spokesperson for the local company.