· Disconnection Deception Scammers call threatening disconnection of service unless an immediate payment is made with a pre-paid card or another form of payment.
“Some customers are reporting fraudulent phone calls by scammers claiming to be Cleco representatives and threatening service disconnection if customers don’t make immediate payment,” said Ron Smith, director of customer experience. “Cleco will never demand immediate payment or ask customers to pay with a pre-paid card. Customers should always contact Cleco directly to check the status of their account.” Customers can visit a customer service office, call 1-800-622-6537, use the Contact Us form on cleco.com, direct message Cleco on Facebook at @ClecoPower, or verify their account information through Cleco’s online customer account management service, MyAccount, at cleco.com. “Scammers portray themselves as representatives of Cleco, and if you don’t answer, they leave a number for you to call them back,” said Smith. “If you receive a call like this, don’t call the number. These individuals are trying to get your personal information.” Other tactics include fraudulent text messages and emails. Customers should be aware of the following common utility scams:
· Overpayment Tactic Scammers call claiming a bill overpayment, and request personal bank account information or a credit card number to facilitate a refund.
· Power Restoration Charge Scammers call offering to restore your electricity more quickly for a fee after a severe storm.
· Vacate Your Home Scammers claim there is a need to replace a meter or other equipment, and the home must be vacated for 72 hours.
· Identification Attack Rather than directing victims to call a 1-800 number, the scammers direct callers to press 1 to collect data in an attempt to get additional personal information.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers, should contact Cleco and local law enforcement authorities. To learn more about Cleco, visit cleco.com or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower. Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC is a regional energy holding company that conducts its business operations through its subsidiaries, Cleco Power LLC and Cleco Cajun LLC. Cleco Power is a regulated electric public utility company that owns 10 generating units with a rated capacity of 3,360 MWs and serves approximately 290,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Cleco Cajun is an unregulated utility company that owns 14 generating units with a rated capacity of 3,379 MWs, and wholesale contracts serving nine Louisiana cooperatives, three wholesale municipal customers and one electric utility. For more information about Cleco, visit us at cleco.com.