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Safe and Sound: Avoiding a utility scam

File photo: Georgia Power utility truck
File photo: Georgia Power utility truck(Source: WALB)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 4:04 PM CST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - As we get closer to the holidays, even more scammers are waiting to steal your personal information and your hard-earned money.

These scams can happen to anyone, but it’s important to remember one key factor: Never give out your personal information to an unknown person, especially over the phone.

This week is National Utility Scam Awareness Week, and Craig Bell with Georgia Power says they’ve teamed up with utility companies across the country to share this very message.

“I mean these games are very, very sophisticated. Sometimes people will call you from an 800 number, you hang up and call that number back and it sounds just like GA power. That’s why we urge our customers to call the number that’s listed on their bill,” Bell said.

In light of the pandemic, they understand that this can be a hard time for people.

If you do fall behind on your bill he says to give your utility company a call to set up a payment plan so that you don’t go without power, especially in these colder months.

“We have seen a steady pace of this. This is something that’s ongoing, that happens every single day, all across the state of Georgia, and all across the country, but frankly, and what we’re doing this week is we’re putting a focus on it, and to make sure that people realize that this is still a factor,” Bell said.

If you do get a suspicious call from someone demanding payment of any sort, hang up!

You can call law enforcement or the companies customer service line.

“We’re never going to reach out to our customers and ask for credit card information or demand that you provide a prepaid debit card over the phone. You know we’re never going to send employees to the field, and knock on your door to collect from the person,” he said.

For more fraud protection tips from Georgia Power, just click here.

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.

Original Story: https://www.walb.com/2020/11/19/safe-sound-avoiding-utility-scam/