BBB serving Acadiana has a warning. Scammers in this area are posing as representatives of local electric companies. This type of scam is common and happens quite often especially during this time of year when consumers need electricity assistance.
How the Scam Works:
Victims of this scam will usually get a phone call from someone pretending to be from Entergy. The fake Entergy employee will tell the victim that a payment is past due and services could be shut off if a payment is not made.
A Lafayette business owner was targeted with this type of scam. According to the business owner, the scammer said they were two months past due and instructed them to pay $2100 using Bitcoin immediately or the power would be disconnected. The victim said the call showed up as an 800 number and when they called the number back, the scammer pretended to be Entergy answering.
These con artists use several different tricks to try and steal money from individuals. Sometimes scammers will show up a home dressed in a work uniform with a claim that the meter is broken, or the home needs repairs, or they need to conduct an energy audit. Con artist will also try to get personal information by promising discounts. Be careful. Lots of people have fallen prey to these tricks.
BBB shares tips to help you spot and protect yourself from this scam
Tips to Spot This Scam:
Prepaid debit cards and wire transfers are a red flag. If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card.
Pressure to pay immediately. Scammers will press for immediate payment and may try to intimidate you into giving them your personal and banking information.
Protect Yourself Against This Scam:
Call customer service. If you feel pressured for immediate action by a caller, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative. Never give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller.
Never allow anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification before letting them enter.
Entergy is aware of this scam and has posted an article on this scam here for their consumers.
To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.
To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams.”
“Look for the Seal” and Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana is a private non-profit organization. BBB strives for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
Please contact Better Business Bureau at (337) 981-3497 24 or bbb.org 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
BBB Serving Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.