Anza Electric Cooperative, Inc. is warning its members about a nationwide scam involving bogus delinquent accounts and prepaid money cards.
It works like this. Callers contact cooperative members and tell them their account is delinquent and recommend that they purchase prepaid money cards (like those available at convenience stores). The scammers then give the members a ten digit phone number that they can call and volunteer the prepaid card's number.
Anza Electric Cooperative, Inc. has had three customers report being contacted. One was told he would be threatened with power shut-off if he didn't go to Circle K and purchase a prepaid card.
Most recently, a local business was contacted after business hours with the threat of disconnection. They paid the amount demanded by the callers using a prepaid card.
Scams of this type have also been identified in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Virginia.
If you feel you are being contacted by one of these scammers or that the call is not legitimate, do the following:
Ask for the name of the caller.
If you can, get the caller's phone number.
Get as much information as you can and then notify them that you'll be contacting Anza Electric Cooperative to make sure that the call is legitimate.
Be particularly suspicious of any calls that come to your phone after business hours as that is not normal AEC practice.
Hang up, call law enforcement and contact Anza Electric's office at 951-763-4333.