South Kentucky RECC is warning its members to beware of people that pose as co-op employees, particularly by telephone.
SKRECC received reports Tuesday from a business owner regarding a phone call they supposedly received from the co-op.
Reports say a person is calling and claiming to be with South Kentucky RECC. This person tells members that the co-op is going to disconnect service if they don’t pay their bill right then.
SKRECC Vice President of Member Services and Public Relations Ruby Patterson says fortunately this business was shrewd enough to realize it was probably a scam. She adds that if there is a need to contact a members about a delinquent bill, the co-op would use an automated phone call, but adds that SKRECC does not personally call members to tell them their bill is due.
“The only time an automated call is made is when people are about to be disconnected, and this is only done after business hours. During the course of this call, they are given the option to pay their bill, but it is electronically. Members are not giving their account information to a live individual.”
Patterson urges members to never give out financial or personal information to anyone that calls them and claims to be from the co-op, or to send money via Western Union or any other wire transaction. If members initiate the call to South Kentucky RECC to pay their bill or for some other business transaction, then she says it is safe to tell employees such information.
In addition, Patterson warns that scams can include the co-op’s phone number appearing on caller i.d.
“It’s our understanding that the scammers have become sophisticated enough to i.d. their phones with co-op phone numbers to make the call seem legitimate. Again, I stress that we would not personally call and ask for payment. I encourage our members that receive these types of phone calls to hang up and call their local office. Our employees can confirm that the call did not originate from South Kentucky RECC, nor are we going to shut their power off in the next few minutes.”
In addition, employees and contractors from South Kentucky RECC that are working in communities or at your home should be in company vehicles, or vehicles marked as contractors, and have an identification badge. If they do not, you’re asked to call your county’s Sheriff Department or the local South Kentucky RECC office.
Patterson says, “It’s always the smart thing to be very wary. We are concerned about our members and their safety, and we would rather them call us to ask than to have them the victim of a scam.”