Have you been a target of these crooks?
Residential customers also targets of thieves
Loveland, Oh. - Several businesses in Loveland have recently received calls from people claiming they are from Duke Energy and asking them to pay money on an overdue bill. This is a known scam.
Contact Duke Energy directly at 1-800-544-6900 if you have any questions about your service.
"Duke Energy is using as many channels as possible to educate customers about this scam," said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief customer officer. "We urge customers who are contacted by individuals claiming to represent Duke Energy to listen for red flags, and hang up immediately if fraud is suspected."
Lanier said the primary red flag used by these criminals is the insistence that customers pay with a prepaid debit card.
Here is how the scam works:
A customer receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a Duke Energy representative. The scammer warns that Duke Energy will disconnect the customer’s electric service if the customer fails to make an immediate payment – usually within one hour.
The thief instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Duke Energy. The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid debit card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
Some of these criminals have recently adopted new tactics, using caller ID spoofing to replicate Duke Energy’s customer service number, or falsely claiming to be with a third party collection agency representing Duke Energy.
They can also become aggressive when questioned about the legitimacy of their calls, and some specifically target Spanish-speaking customers, restaurants and other small businesses.
The company urges customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these thieves, to hang up and call local police, then Duke Energy at one of the numbers below to report the call:
Ohio/Kentucky customers – 800-544-6900
Indiana customers – 800-521-2232