UCEMC MEMBERS TARGETED BY UTILITY SCAM
Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC) reminds members to be on alert for a telephone scam that continues to plague rural Tennesseans.
Scam artists call a home or business posing as a co-op or utility employee and threaten to shut off service unless the consumer provides immediate payment using a reloadable debit card, prepaid gift card or online payment service like PayPal.
“The calls sound official, and the caller ID may even display the utility name,” says Jimmy Gregory, General Manager of UCEMC. “This scam is particularly harmful to consumers because there is no way to track or recover the money.”
Officials stress that UCEMC will:
- NEVER call members to request credit card, banking or other financial information over the telephone.
- NEVER call members threatening immediate disconnection unless a payment is made. Some co-ops do give members with a first time delinquent account a courtesy call prior to disconnection.
- NEVER ask to enter your home unless you initiate the request for co-op personnel to perform a specific service. Co-ops do this only by appointment and with a member’s prior knowledge.
“We are asking co-op members to be wary of any phone calls,” Gregory says. “If in doubt, hang up immediately, and call 800-261-2940. Be certain you are dealing with an official representative of the cooperative.”
Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation serves approximately 48,000 meters in DeKalb, Macon, Smith, Wilson, Jackson, Overton, Clay, Fentress, Pickett, Putnam and White counties. Visit www.ucemc.com to learn more.