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Duke Energy warns customers of new scam

Duke Energy, along with Covington Police, are warning residents of a new scam that has people believing their accounts are overdue.

The scam involves a caller pretending to be an employee of Duke Energy and telling the customer their account is overdue and requires immediate payment or the household’s gas and electric services will be turned off.  The caller instructs the target to go to the CVS store located at 20th Street & Madison Avenue, which is conveniently located across the street from the Covington Police Department’s headquarters.  The target is told to place the payment on a Green Dot brand pre-paid credit card.  Once the money is loaded on to the credit card, the target is instructed to call 1-800-877-8436 and the funds are removed from the card.

In a statement regarding the fraud, Duke Energy said the following:

Occasionally, Duke Energy MAY call you to discuss your account. If we do, we will provide you with information that only you and Duke Energy would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate. If, after receiving the information, you are uncomfortable providing personal information by phone, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up and call the company directly at 1-800-544-6900.

On the company’s website, the following information has been provided for customers regarding fraud prevention:

Based on current events, Duke Energy has formed this list of fraud prevention tips to protect customers:

Do not accept offers from anyone, including those claiming to be Duke Energy employees, to pay your bill or provide any other service for a fee.

Duke Energy only charges convenience fees for payments using its automated phone system, one-time payments made through its website and at select authorized pay agents. The company does not charge extra fees for paying bills by mail or through customers’ online banking services.

Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.

Duke Energy never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person.

If you or someone you know has a question about whether someone is a legitimate representative of Duke Energy, call the company at 1-800-544-6900. Call police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter.

Guard against fraud – never share your personal information, including birthday, Social Security number or banking account information.

Indications or examples of scams can include misleading phones calls and third-party payments.

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