Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

State News

August 29, 2013

OG&E warns customers of scam

NORMAN — OG&E is warning customers about a prepaid debit card scam that is targeting utility customers across the country. Scam artists are posing as electric company employees and calling customers to tell them they are behind on their electric bill.

The customers are told to purchase a “Green Dot” prepaid debit card or other type of reloadable debit card, load the card with money and then provide the card number to the utility to avoid having their electricity shut off.

Customers have been targeted in 12 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

“OG&E will not contact a customer over the phone and ask them to buy a prepaid debit card. We also will not call and ask for a customer’s credit card number over the phone. And we will not send an employee to a customer’s home to collect payment,” said Kathleen O’Shea, OG&E spokeswoman.

Several local OG&E customers also have recently been approached at home by scam artists posing as OG&E employees to gain access to the customer’s residence. Official OG&E employees will have an OG&E badge, will not request access inside the home and will never ask for money.

Customers who are suspicious about calls or people allegedly from OG&E can call 1-800-272-9741. Customers who believe they are a scam victim are urged to notify the police or the state attorney general’s office.

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