Next week is National Utility Scam Awareness Week, and Cleco is reminding customers to be on alert for fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as in-person scammers who could be posing as representatives of Cleco. Ron Smith, General Manager of Customer Experience stated that “Scammers frequently try to take advantage of our customers with fraudulent phone calls demanding immediate payment with a pre-paid card and threatening disconnection, but Cleco will never initiate calls to demand immediate payment, and our customer service representatives will never ask customers to pay with a pre-paid card. These scammers are very convincing, and they are becoming more sophisticated. ”
Common utility scams include:
- phone calls that threaten disconnection of your service unless you make an immediate payment with a pre-paid card;
- calls claiming you overpaid your bill, and you need to provide your personal bank account information or a credit card number to obtain a refund;
- some scammers claim there is a need to replace your meter or other equipment, and you must leave your home for 72 hours.
- They might call offering to restore your electricity more quickly for a fee after a severe storm.
- Or they direct victims to call a 1-800 number and press 1 to collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.
In the event you get one of these calls, CLECO recommends that you hang up and use the phone number on your bill or reach out to CLECO through their Facebook page. CLECO will never demand a specific way a customer should pay their bill. If you think you have been scammed or threatened contact CLECO and your local law enforcement.