Scammers are busy again sending emails, with the subject line of PG&E Energy Statement, in order to get personal information. The email scam has targeted residents throughout the United States – including some Iowa electric cooperative member-consumers.
Anyone that receives this email is urged to delete emails soliciting personal information. Southwest Iowa REC advises member-consumers not to respond to any such requests, nor to open any attachments or links.
In a different scam, a number of utility customers have been targeted by scammers claiming to be a collections agent. The caller will impersonate the utility company claiming their bill is overdue and needs to be paid immediately. If refused, they will threaten disconnection.
Sometimes the scammers will have the account number and amount due. We believe this information was obtained through some type of social engineering Typically a prepaid debit card number has been requested. In most cases, they even provided a callback number in case a prepaid debit card was not immediately available.
Caller ID numbers have been spoofed to look as if it is actually the utility company calling. Typically commercial type accounts have been targeted as information may be easier to obtain. Several larger electric utilities have already been targeted.
Southwest Iowa REC does make phone calls to their members who have past due bills. However, we will never "threaten disconnection" over the phone. Our member-consumers receive a phone call to contact the office if they have a past due amount on their bill that is subject to disconnection. When the member-consumer calls the office, arrangements are then made for payment of their past due electric bill.