FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) is warning its customers about a scam.
According to the company, customers have been contacted by someone who claims to be with SWEPCO and then threatens to disconnect service unless an immediate payment is made.
Typically the scammer asks for a payment to be made using a prepaid card or another non-traceable form of payment.
Scammers typically threaten disconnection of electric service and demand immediate payment. They ask the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card, such as a Green Dot card, and ask for the card’s number, granting the scammer instant access to the card’s funds.
SWEPCO says it continues to receive reports in Northwest Arkansas of scammers posing as employees and demanding money from customers. The scammers can use phone, in-person and online tactics to try to get money out of victims.
“These scammers are targeting vulnerable groups of people, including seniors, non-native English speakers and small business owners,” said Peter Main, SWEPCO spokesperson.
SWEPCO employees do not call customers demanding immediate payment or insist that customers purchase a prepaid debit/cash card to pay a bill.
“If you believe a scammer has contacted you, hang up the phone immediately, delete the email or shut the door,” Main said. “You can verify the status of your account by using the SWEPCO app, logging into SWEPCO.com or calling us directly at 1-888-216-3523.”
If someone approaches you in person, ask to see an ID badge. SWEPCO personnel should be wearing appropriate company logo shirts, hard hats or ball caps. Also, look for a SWEPCO truck parked outside. You can verify callers or visitors claiming to be from SWEPCO by calling the customer service line at 1-888-216-3523.