New scam alert

WTAP News @ 5- new phone scam
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 6:11 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is warning people about a new scam. According to the Public Service Commission’s spokesperson Susan Small, the scam is happening via phone calls.

The caller is claiming to represent Appalachian Power Company and is threatening to shut off service if you don’t pay the amount demanded. What makes this scam stand out from others is that the caller knows the exact amount of your last utility bill. While this may make the scammer sound more credible, Small says there are red flags to look out for.

First off, a legitimate representative of a utility company will never specify what form of payment you should make. This scammer is requesting debit card payment. Also, Small says it’s highly unlikely that a utility company will threaten to shut off your service when contacting you about an issue for the first time. Typically a payment plan is suggested.

Small added, “I wouldn’t want customers to have a false sense of security because right now it’s just - we’re just hearing about it with APCo because these - the  types of scams tend to spread very very quickly. So it could be APCo today, it could be First Energy tomorrow, it could be West Virginia American the next day.”

If you think you’re dealing with a scam, Small suggests hanging up and calling the customer service number on your last utility bill.

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