The scammers are back! 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. Or the caller tells the member that their Edison account is about to be disconnected. Fortunately, one smart local businesswoman recognized right away that it was a scam as soon as the caller mentioned Edison. She knew Anza Electric was her provider.
Anza Electric Cooperative, Inc. has had several members report being contacted. One was told that he would be threatened with power shut-off if he didn't go to Circle K and purchase a prepaid card.
A few months ago, 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 off of caller ID.
Get as much information as you can and then notify them that you'll be calling 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 a normal AEC practice.
Hang up, call law enforcement and contact Anza Electric's offices at 763-4333.