Georgia Power warns of phone scam - WRBL

Georgia Power warns of phone scam

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Georgia Power is warning customers of an evolving scam. One where callers will pretend to be Georgia Power representatives and demand money if customers want their service to continue. We're on your side with what you need to know about this sophisticated ruse.

It's actually been circulating for several months, but changes every so often. Originally scammers would ask for customers to purchase a green dot card and read them the numbers. Most recently they're asking for individuals' credit or debit card information. This scheme is happening right here in Columbus.

"The truck is on it's way, and when it gets there, they're turning it off. When they turn it off, you won't be able to get it turned back on until tomorrow," said Patricia Willis.

These are the frightening words Patricia Willis heard when a man pretending to work for Georgia Power called her elderly mother's home. The scam works like this: a person will call a home pretending to work for a power company and demand a debit card payment or a customers power would be turned off immediately. Georgia Power representatives say the scheme targets senior citizens and people who speak English as a second language.

"She's one that's always paid her bills. Things are always on time, and just the idea that they're going to cut her power off and she's here alone. She would be afraid and so she would be more apt to do that," said Willis.

Willis said there were several red flags when she was on the phone with people claiming to be from Georgia Power.

"They kept decreasing the amount that they wanted, like just give us something, but then he kept saying we'll take your debit card so that was another red flag, you keep asking for my debit card," said Willis.

And the scam also involved a call back number. Something Willis said surprised her.

"When you call the phone number, it says this is Georgia Power, A Southern Company, which makes you think this is legit, this is who it should be," said Willis.

But Georgia Power Representatives said this is not how they do business.

"Anytime that Georgia Power contacts you, if your account is past due, we're going to contact you with a pre-automated message and advise you to contact Georgia Power or to visit one of our local offices. We will never ask you for credit card information or banking information," said Danny Johnson, customer service manager at Georgia Power.

Johnson said they will not make threatening phone calls to customers. He said if you get a call like the one in this story, you should contact the police and then call Georgia Power.

You can reach them with questions or concerns 24/7. That number is 1-888-660-5890.

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