A warning about a sneaky technique scammers are using to rob you. It's the latest twist on a scam we've seen in our area for a few years.
The scammer claims to be with a utility company and threaten to cut off service unless you pay over the phone.
Now, they're using technology to make that call even more convincing.
Caller I. D. has saved many of us from the annoying and the long-winded.
Betty Gallagher in Greenville even sees it as a shield from scammers.
"I would be concerned if I did not have caller I'D," said Gallagher.
That's what she told us today when we warned her scammers are calling and pretending to be with a Utility company claiming your service will be cut off if you don't pay right away.
"I heard about it that they call you and they threaten you," said Mike Parisi in Greenville.
He knows about it because it's been around for a while, but what he and Gallagher didn't know is how scammers are manipulating the phone system to impersonate a known company.
Ryan Mosier with Duke Energy tells us they're making the caller I. D. show up with the name of the utility so it ads more credibility to the scam.
We asked if this new technique is making more customers fall for it.
"I don't know the numbers of who is affected and what the time frame of that is, but it does affect our customers. There is a percentage of customers who are being impacted by this, and it's important that we let them know of the sophistication of the criminals that are involved in this," he said.
We checked, and confirmed your electricity, gas and water won't be turned off without a series of written notices that your delinquent. If you're ever unsure about a phone call, hang up and dial the company directly using the number on your bill.
Also beware of these Utility Scam Red Flags:
-Callers that ask for a prepaid debit card number.
-High Pressure Tactics
-And unannounced home visits
Nowadays you may not be able to always trust things like your caller I. D. anymore.
"What in the heck are they going to come up with next," said Parisi.
But if you know the warning signs, even a high tech scammer is no match to your intuition.
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