Local electric membership cooperatives, such as Snapping Shoals EMC, are warning consumers of a "phising" scam over the phone by imposters posing as EMC employees in order to obtain personal information.
In the latest scheme, the thieves contact EMC consumers informing victims that the government is paying $350 towards the electric bill of senior citizens. The fraudulent caller claims that in order to process the check, he or she needs social security numbers and EMC account numbers.
If the scam artist obtains this information, including credit card numbers, he or she calls the EMC consumer a few minutes later to "verify" the information in an attempt to defray suspicion and give the scammers more time to use the data to make fraudulent purchases.
Some consumers have already been victims to similar scams. Earlier this year, thieves contacted customers by phone, informing victims that their electric bill was past due and that an urgent credit card payment was needed to avoid loss of service within 24 hours.
If a customer suspects a caller is fraudulent, Snapping Shoals EMC recommends trying to write down the incoming phone number using caller ID. If anyone has been the victim of this scheme, or has any information leading to possible suspects, they are asked to contact the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office or Conyers Police Department.
Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is a consumer-owned cooperative that provides electric service to about 95,000 homes and businesses in an eight-county area. Most of its service area is in Newton, Rockdale, Henry and DeKalb counties. Portions of Butts, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties are also included.