Utility company scams are on the rise during colder months, officials say
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs warns consumers about utility scams that pop up this time of year.
Utility scams can happen over the phone or in person, but the goal is always the same.
Callers will try to cause you to panic so that you’ll pay money you really don’t owe. Utility imposters will tell you that your bill is late and your power will be cut off immediately, if you don’t pay right now. But officials with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs says don’t fall for it.
Here’s how you can protect yourself:
Instead of panicking, don’t pay up, hang up. Then, call the customer service number for your power company or if you pay online, check your account that way.
Never take the word of someone who just happens to call you, even if the number they are calling from appears to be from your power company, because they could have spoofed the number. Most scams have a similar method, so always hang up, and take a moment to double check the information.
Officials say if you have any doubt about the legitimacy of a caller, hang up immediately and call your utility’s customer service center.
- Dominion Energy South Carolina: (800) 251-7234
- Duke Energy Carolinas: (800) 777-9898
- Duke Energy Progress: (800) 452-2777
- Santee Cooper: (800) 804-7424
- Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina: Visit https://www.ecsc.org/ecsc-members-map to find the direct number of your co-op.
- Lockhart Power: (800) 368-1289
If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a scam, notify your local law enforcement agency.
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