Don’t be a victim of a utility scam.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen a steady surge in the fraudulent actions of scammers attempting to deceive customers into providing both personal and financial information. Take a moment to learn more about how to recognize a utility scam so you can help protect yourself from being misled.
Spotting a typical phone scam
A common ploy used by scammers is to impersonate utility company staff over the phone, claiming to be collecting on late bills or threatening to disconnect your service. They often demand money in the form of a prepaid debit card to avoid immediate service interruption.
Refund check scams on the rise
With disconnections for nonpayment currently suspended due to the pandemic, scam artists have adjusted their tactics. The latest trend promises the mailing of refund checks for overpayment on your account if you can confirm personal data, like a birth date or Social Security number. In many cases, the call may be a pre-recorded “robocall” that falsifies their caller-ID information, making it appear as though the call is coming from Duke Energy.
Ways to help protect yourself against scams
Scammers have many methods for reaching customers. They may show up at your doorstep, send fraudulent emails or contact you by phone. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself against utility-based scams:
Though Duke Energy will frequently contact our customers by phone, email and text, we will never ask for personal information over the phone or demand immediate payment using money orders or gift cards.
If you are unsure whether a call is valid, hang up and contact our customer care center.
If someone claiming to represent Duke Energy approaches your door requesting personal or private information, always ask for identification. If you have any concerns about their legitimacy, contact our customer service team for verification.
Duke Energy will not specify how customers should make a bill payment, and we will always offer a variety of ways to pay your bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, by mail, or in person. If the caller demands an immediate compensation by prepaid debit or credit card, DO NOT submit payment.
Customers can learn more about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs on our website.
Scammers can be very convincing and aggressive, so it is important to remain vigilant and stay informed. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website to learn more about recent scams and how to recognize the warning signs.
Stay healthy and safe,