Duke Energy warns of scam phone calls, gives tips to avoid falling victim

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–Several 7News viewers contacted us about recent scam phone calls claiming to be Duke Energy. The caller claims they are from the energy company and that a payment needs to be made by prepaid card. Duke Energy confirms, this is a scam.

Tricia Gentry is just one person who contacted 7News after receiving a call.

“A number it came up and said it was from Simpsonville,” Gentry said. “Number one, I knew my bill had been paid and number two my phone number was not connected to our Duke power account.”

Another viewer says the scammer asked for payment via Bitcoin. Although Duke Energy offers many payment options, but the request for Bitcoin is a major red flag.

“Credit cards, checks, by phone, electronic debit, but bitcoin is not one of them,” Duke Spokesperson Ryan Mosier said.

He says these scams often change.

“The criminals get more sophisticated by the day and find new techniques and tactics and strategies to separate people from their hard earned money,” Mosier said.

And, he says, there’s no way to know why upticks happen.

“We see spikes during the course of the year, there’s really no rhyme or reason to why that is or when they take place,” Mosier said.

But, he says it’s important to stay calm if you do end up on the phone with one of these scammers.

“Right now at the end of August, people need their air conditioning they’re working from home some kids are still being schooled from home so people panic,” Mosier said.

But there are other warning signs.

“We never call customers, we never reach out to customers through telephone to say hey your bill is due,” Mosier said.

Gentry says more people need to be aware of these calls.

“I just want everybody to be aware that these kind of things are going on and not to fall for them,” Gentry said.

For more tips on avoiding these scams Duke Energy has more helpful hints here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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