LISTEN: Phony Duke Energy rep makes scam call - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

LISTEN: Phony Duke Energy rep makes scam call

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CINCINNATI (FOX19) -

A long-running scam targeted at Duke Energy customers is becoming increasingly sophisticated and elaborate, the company warns.

Duke released recorded audio of a scam call in an effort to help to customers identify the tricks scammers use to get money.

In the call, a phony representative can be heard telling a customer he must pay upwards of $800 to avoid service disconnection. The imposter claims a Duke technician is already en route to turn off the home’s power, urging the victim to quickly make the payment.

(Listen to the call in the video player above or at this link)

Customers across the country have fallen victim to similar, believable scam calls, the company says. 

The criminals have even duplicated Duke's phone recording, so when customers return the call, they hear a legitimate-sounding customer service message.

The scammers' most-used phone number is 844–422–1719. Duke is asking customers to mark that number as “do not answer.”

The company is ramping up efforts to combat the scheme as we approach the holiday season – a time when scam activity is generally more prevalent.

If you notice these red flags, you’ve probably received a scam call:

The thief becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within less than an hour.

The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Duke Energy.

The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.

How to protect yourself

Duke Energy never asks or requires a customer with a delinquent account to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.

Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.

Customers with delinquent accounts receive an advance disconnection notification with the regular monthly billing – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.

If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police then Duke Energy. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.

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