Power company warns of telephone scam

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORTHERN NECK, Va. — The Northern Neck Electric Company (NNEC) wants to warn consumers about a recent telephone scam reported in the Northern Neck.

“If someone claiming to represent Northern Neck Electric (NNEC) calls, demands immediate payment of your electric bill, and threatens to cut your power off within an hour, hang up,” representatives of the NNECsaid.

“We want all of our members to be aware of the threat of scammers calling to demand immediate payment for services from NNEC,” said Richard McLendon, NNEC’s vice president of customer service and information technology. “The scammers claim that electric service will be disconnected within an hour unless the bill is paid immediately. Usually the scammer instructs the homeowner to go to a store to purchase a prepaid card and to call back with the card’s information to pay the bill. In some cases the scammers demand the homeowner to pay cash to the supposed representative at a nearby location within a short period of time.”

McLendon continued, “NNEC would never contact our members in this way. The employees at NNEC work very hard to accommodate our members, and we would never demand a member meet us somewhere to make a payment for any service. NNEC never asks for immediate payment of cash, a “green dot” card or PayPal as a prerequisite to keeping your lights on. Please report any telephone calls such as these to the Cooperative and local law enforcement if you think it is a scam.”

NNEC notifies its members when payment has not been received and when disconnection of their electric service is pending. The Cooperative’s member service representatives do not demand immediate payment, but can take payments over the phone when necessary. Remember that legitimate companies will not call or email you asking for your account number or password, so keep your account information confidential.

NNEC also warned that caller ID does not always represent where a caller is located. Because scammers may use Internet calling technology, the area code you see may not reflect where they really are. Write down the person’s name, then hang up and call NNEC’s main line number at 1-800-243-2860 or 804-333-3621.