Utility Scam Claims To Offer Reward For Timely Payments
A new type of utility scam is hitting people in the upstate. The caller tries to convince people they are getting a reward for paying bills on time. It's all so they can steal their private information.
At the Burgess family home in Campobello, things don't tend to change much.
For decades they've fed the pigs, tended to the other animals, cranked up an old cast iron stove, and for more than 20 years they've always paid their utility bill on time.
That's why when they got a call that was out of the ordinary, they were on guard.
"He just kept saying, well you won money, you won money for your utility bills, you know. We were just like, this definitely had to be a scam," said Maria Gibson.
The family says they knew it was bogus they had never gotten offered a reward before for timely bill paying.
Gibson says the caller even claimed he was with UPS and needed to verify their address.
Here's what you should know. UPS does not call customers asking for their address. Second utility companies don't offer rewards for paying your bill on time.
"Everybody likes free money, everybody likes rewards, and the reality is that we don't do anything like that and any other utility doesn't either," said Josh Crotzer with Broad River Electric Cooperative.
He says the utility will only ask for private information if the customer calls them to make changes to an account.
Burgess, who was under post surgery medication when the scam call came in, says she's worried someone like her could have been fooled.
"If I hadn't had my daughter or granddaughter here to intervene, then he could have gotten some information out of me," she said.
For them timing was key. For you, knowledge is power.