Local News

Clayton warns residents of 'electrical department' phone scam

Posted July 10, 2017 3:26 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2017 4:09 p.m. EDT

Scammers use phone numbers to get personal information

— Town of Clayton officials issued a warning to residents on social media Monday about scam phone calls claiming to come from either Duke Progress Energy or the town's electrical department.

In a post on the town's Facebook page, officials said the scammers tell people they need to pay a deposit for their electrical meters. The callers then threaten to turn off customers’ electricity unless they immediately pay a large amount of money.

"One family was scammed out of $500, and the shysters wanted $800!" the town wrote. "In an effort to appear legitimate, the scammers offer to read people their electrical account numbers. Even if the account number checks out, do not trust the caller!"

Officials said scammers may ask for payment using a wire transfer, credit or debit card, money order, prepaid debit card or another form of payment. Some victims have been told to go to a local CVS to wire money.

"Don't be a victim! The Town of Clayton will NEVER call you demanding immediate payment by wire transfer, money order or prepaid debit card – and we would never threaten to turn off your electricity," the town wrote.

Anyone who receives a suspicious call should not follow the caller's instructions, hang up and immediately call 911, officials said. Never share personal information with callers, and do not send them money, they said.

Anyone with questions about their bill should call the town's customer service department at 919-553-5002.