That surprise check in the mail may actually be legit

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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — You’ve likely heard the warnings about those nasty check scams. But this time you may have received an unexpected check in the mail that is totally legitimate.

The payments stem from a class action settlement and nearly 160-thousand electric customers in the Upstate should have one by now.

Here’s what it’s all about and what you should do if you think you qualified but never got one.

The checks were mailed between November 12 and November 27 and the size of the checks has everything to do with how much electricity you paid for between 2007 and the end of this year.

Michael Calnan in Greenville got one for $428.

“That just means I got to fight more with my wife about the thermostat, right?” he said smiling.

Let’s go back to the who and why.

Remember those two nuclear units that were supposed to be built at the V.C. Summer site in Jenkinsville? OK, even if you don’t, any customer who paid their utility bill in the last 13 years to a cooperative were paying for the project. Sorry Duke customers, we’re talking about co-ops like Laurens Electric, Broad River or Blue Ridge. So when Santee Cooper and SCE&G stopped construction, they were hit with a class action lawsuit.

“I was shocked you know, I didn’t remember signing up for a class action suit,” said Cathy Alt, a Laurens Electric customer.

You didn’t have to sign up. The Settlement money was mailed automatically late last month to anyone owed 25 dollars or more.

“I knew that there was a settlement but what I suspected was that it would be a small credit against my Laurens Electric bill,” said Alan Csontos in Greenville.

Well, some did get a credit, but only if they were owed less than $25.

So what do you do if you’ve lived here for a while, paid your electric through a cooperative and haven’t gotten a check? Well in that case they might not have your correct address.

You can send any inquiries to

As for the thermostat war Calnan admits, “I was so surprised I deposited it without my wife knowing it.”

Whatever you do with the money, the timing isn’t bad.

“It was a pleasant surprise. A pleasant wonderful Christmas gift,” said Alt.

And at least we know, it’s legit.

“It hasn’t bounced yet, so,” said Calnan.

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