Local News

Progress Energy warns customers of phone scam

Posted September 30, 2010

— Progress Energy on Thursday warned customers of a telephone scam that has increased in frequency this week.

Since Tuesday, more than a dozen customers have reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to represent Progress Energy or other electric utilities, the company said. 

"The caller, sometimes identified as 'Dan,' claims the customer’s account is about to be disconnected for non-payment and requests credit card information from the customer to avoid the disconnection," company officials said in a statement. "In at least one case, credit card information was supplied, and the information was later used illegally."

Except in rare instances, Progress Energy representatives do not call customers to ask for credit card information.

Other scams in recent years have involved people claiming to be Progress Energy employees or representatives to gain entry into a customer’s home.

Other than in emergencies or safety-related issues, there are practically no instances when a representative of Progress Energy would show up at a customer’s home unannounced and ask to enter to perform work, officials said.

Progress Energy discourages customers from opening their doors for utility workers unless they can confirm the person’s identity. Progress Energy employees carry company badges with photographs. But since ID badges, vehicle signs and clothing can be fabricated to look authentic, none of these is sufficient to assure a person’s identity, they said.

If a customer has any doubt about the identity of someone claiming to be a Progress Energy employee, they can call the company's customer service center at 1-800-452-2777 to verify the employee’s identity.


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  • lprop Oct 1, 2010

    Progress energy put this out to help protect their customers not for a debate on spending and rates. They have always tried to educate their customers as to how they can save energy and keep their kwh usage down. Elderly people are taken advantage of quite often so you should thank Progress for trying to warn people. Who knows it could be your mother or father.

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    micah, I understand your points but I am just very much concerned that the money they dole out to corporate sponserships and charities are robbing the customers even if electric rate is low compared to other areas. Any money they may make in tax advantages is probably offset by corporate sponserships. So the net is that they are throwing money away IMHO.

  • micah Sep 30, 2010

    A electrical generation utilitie's fuel cost are directly regulated by the Utilities Commission. They are not allowed to profit from fuel charges. They are, however, a for-profit company. They can sponsor whatever they want, and because my electrical rate for my residence and my business are so low I have nothing to complain about. They have to make money just like me. I'm sure their sponsorships net them huge tax advantages. I seriously doubt their sponsorships affect your electric bill at all, but I can't say this for sure unless I looked at their books. They are a publicly traded company, so a lot of their financials are available for review.

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    sorry, wrong article I posted in!!!

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    Is DSS supposed to be held responsible every time a coward kills an innocent child that was involved or related to a case load study? What if a mother of children, the subject of a case study, meets a creep after the case study is closed and the creep cowardly harms a child. Is the DSS supposed to be held responsible. DSS cannot predict unknown outside variables down the road in the future. The fact is that people should be criticizing the coward who murdered this innocent girl. Whatever happened to accountability in America?

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    micah, did you read specifically about how Progress Energy is a corporate sponser to the ACC. How they donate monies to charities that really should still be used to offset fuel costs even if it is just $3.00 per year. It is the principle behind it. Watch an ACC game and see where that money should be fairly spent toward the running of the company and not "wasteful" promotion.

  • micah Sep 30, 2010

    Tarheelfan13, You just have no idea what you are talking about. The average per kwh rate in NC has gone up just $0.023 in the past year. If you use 1000kwh per month, that equals less than $3 a YEAR. Raleigh's residential rate of just over 0.10 per kwh is very cheap. Yes, all utilities are publicly regulated companies, and every rate change, up or down, must be approved by the Utilities Commission. Progress is not permitted to profit from increases or decreases in fuel cost, and the cost or benefit of changes in fuel rates must be passed on to the customer. The electrical generation and distribution system is massive and expensive to maintain. We have good, clean power 99.99% of the time. This is an amazing feat for such a low end-user price. We have it so good, utility-wise, in this country, and even more so in this state!

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    But to be fair Progress Energy does due a superb job when it comes to electric service quality and I have no complaints. I just wish they would think of the actual customer first and use monies to combat rising fuel costs instead of "wasting" it on corporate sponserships. One would think that the Utility Commission would mandate that since the Utility Commission supposedly works for the people.

  • Tarheelfan13 Sep 30, 2010

    The problem I have with Progress Energy is that they are always wanting rate increases due to rising fuel costs yet they are always sponsoring Atlantic Coast Conference sports events on television or donating to charities. Here is an idea. They should use that money to combat rising fuel costs and remember that they are an electric company regulated by the Utilities Commission and not in the corporate show off business. I have nothing against charity donations but they are basically ripping off the customers against their consent. Maybe the Utilities Commission should crack down but alas that would be too much common sense and reason to ask.

  • Leonardo Sep 30, 2010

    Iworkforaliving: "But we are not other "industrialized countries". Why should we be compared to them?"

    Do you have a better idea of determining what a good rate on electricity is?

    Or are you just one of those people who'd complain even if you were paying a penny per kWh? There seems to be a lot of those people on this message board.

    We'd all like electricity to be free. But it's not. It costs money to build/maintain/operate those plants and pay for the employees in those plants. And if you don't like it, use less electricity, or put up a windmill or something.