Here’s what the scam entails: the scammer spoofs the co-op’s number so it looks like a real call coming from the utility.
Before Tuesday morning was even over, Eau Claire Energy Cooperative got more than 100 calls from customers, each of them notifying the company they received a phone call from scammers using their name.
The scammer then tells the patron they have an overdue bill, and that if they don’t pay over the phone within 10 minutes, they will disconnect their power immediately.
“We contacted the local media to make them aware of it. We posted on our Facebook page about the scam and we’ve also changed our incoming greeting so when people call, the first thing they hear about is this scam going on so that we make them aware of it,” said Lynn Thompson, president and CEO of Eau Claire Energy Cooperative.
Co-op officials said they’ve already contacted the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office about the issue and so far, no customers have told them they’ve fallen victim to the scam.
Thompson adds they do at times make phone calls to remind people about past due bills, but they will never use a pressure tatic.
They direct customers to a secure online payment site and do not ask for payment information over the phone.
If you suspect anything, call the co-op’s office at (715) 832-1603 to verify you’re actually talking to them.