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.