SCAM ALERT: Watch out for the Entergy ‘Utility Scam’

Crime

(BRPROUD) – The Better Business Bureau of South Central Louisiana is making the public aware of a scam that is making the rounds again.

Authorities say, “a woman posted on social media that she answered a call from a 225-area code number, and it sounded like an automated message from Entergy saying her bill had not been paid, and her power would be cut off soon.”

As this woman became suspicious, she called Entergy and verified that her account was up-to-date.

What makes this scam particularly sneaky is that the Caller ID on your phone may show Entergy as the company on the other end of the line.

Authorities provided details about how this “Utility Scam” works below:

How the Scam Works:

Utility company imposters will typically reach you with a telephone call or knock on your door claiming to be a representative from the local water, electric, or gas company. In the most common scenario, the scammer informs you that payment is overdue and the utility will be shut off if you don’t pay up immediately.

Here are some tips to look for relating to this scam:

  • Prepaid debit cards and wire transfers are a red flag. If a caller specifically asks you to pay by prepaid debit card or wire transfer, this is a huge warning sign. Your utility company will accept a check or credit card.
  • Pressure to pay immediately. Scammers will press for immediate payment and may try to intimidate you into giving them your personal and banking information.
  • To Protect Yourself Against This Scam:
  • Call customer service. If you feel pressured for immediate action by a caller, hang up the phone and call the customer service number on your utility bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a real representative. Never give your personal or banking information to an unverified or unsolicited caller.
  • Never allow anyone into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem. Also, ask utility employees for proper identification before letting them enter.

If you have been a victim of a scam, visit BBB Scam Tracker.

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