Raleigh, N.C. — Duke Energy is warning customers in the Carolinas to be aware of a new bill payment scam.
The company said Thursday that more than 35 small business and residential customers in North and South Carolina have been targeted by the scam since mid-November. Some have lost as much as $900, the company said.
The scammed customers receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a Duke Energy representative who says the customer’s electricity will be disconnected if they fail to make a payment within the hour. The customers are instructed to purchase a prepaid debit card and call back to make the payment.
Duke Energy said customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications over several weeks prior to disconnection. And the company does not ask customers to purchase prepaid debit cards to pay their bills.
Anyone who receives a suspicious call is urged to hang up and call local authorities, then call Duke Energy at 800-777-9898 or Progress Energy at 800-452-2777.