14 Jan Utility payment scam strikes area again
Beware of the newest utility payment scam!
Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) members should be on guard for an electric payment scam that has hit DREMC members over the weekend, taking advantage of Bedford County residents and businesses, two of which so far have fallen victim to the scammers.
The people behind this fraud sound professional as they instruct DREMC members to pay a specific amount due or electric service will be disconnected. The scammers have reportedly spoofed the DREMC Shelbyville district phone number, 931-684-4621, so the call appears official. Upon talking to the scammer, the local business employee was told that the business had failed to pay a $1,000 deposit for which a notice was previously mailed. The DREMC member was then instructed to pay by purchasing Money Pak cards, scratching off the back to reveal the verification numbers so that the scammer could immediately apply the value of the money cards toward the unpaid deposit in order to avoid disconnecting the business’ electric service.
The member was told to call 855-303-7775 to complete the payment transaction once the money cards were purchased. DREMC does not dial from 800 numbers, so you are advised to hang up (and do not hit redial), and dial your local DREMC office to verify the payment request.
“We sincerely regret the surfacing of yet another utility payment scam and that it has taken advantage of one of our local businesses,” says Mike Bayne, Shelbyville district manager. “We appreciate the member for calling the Shelbyville DREMC district office and reporting the scam as it gives us the opportunity to alert other members across our entire service area.”
“Please remember, if you ever have questions about your bill, a deposit amount or a recent payment, call your local DREMC office yourself to ensure that you are talking to an actual DREMC employee working in one of our local offices,” advised Bayne. DREMC has contacted the local police department, and they are assisting in the investigation.
Be advised that DREMC will not demand that you immediately purchase Green Dot, Money Pak or any other prepaid credit cards in order to pay an unpaid balance. Be alert and aware of possible scams involving the cooperative and other businesses, and do not give any personal or financial information to an unknown source.
There are a variety of ways to pay DREMC bills, including in the local offices, by phone talking to a DREMC representative on lines manned 24/7, online at www.dremc.com and by using our free and secure mobile app download.
If you receive a suspicious message regarding your electric service, please contact your local DREMC district office immediately.