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Utility, deputies want to pull plug on scam artists

POSTED: January 20, 2014 7:03 p.m.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office is warning Georgia Power customers about scammers posing as company employees in an attempt to bilk money from people.


According to the ECSO, the imposters say the customer has a past-due balance and, in order to prevent their power from being shut off, must purchase a pre-paid card by providing credit and debit account information.


“That’s not what we do,” said Georgia Power area manager Dinah King.


“If a customer’s account ever became past-due, the person would receive a pre-recorded message that gives a phone number they can call to find out about their account,” said ECSO spokesman Detective David Ehsanipoor.


Law enforcement agencies around the state have received reports of the scammers calling Georgia Power customers or visiting their homes.


“We haven’t really had reports in Effingham of them coming to people’s doors, but we’ve heard that they’ve been calling on the phone here, so we just want people to be aware of both,” Ehsanipoor said.


King pointed out that, if Georgia Power were to contact a customer, the company would already have the type of information the scammers are requesting. Customers are asked to verify their information only when they contact Georgia Power, she added.


“I would caution people that, if it doesn’t sound right, it probably isn’t,” King said.


Any customers who believe they have received calls or visits from a scam artist can call Georgia Power’s 24-hour customer service line at (888) 660-5890. Also, King said, they can visit the company’s Web site, www.georgiapower.com, or the office in Springfield at 149 Power Company Rd. off Highway 119.

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