Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

April 1, 2013

Duke Energy customers beware

The Herald-Tribune

BATESVILLE — Duke Energy officials urge customers to be alert for a new bill payment scam.

According to a press release, “Under the scam, a customer receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely claims to be a Duke Energy representative. The caller falsely warns that Duke Energy will disconnect the customer’s electric service if the customer fails to make an immediate payment – usually within one hour.

“The caller instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card – widely available at retail stores – then tells the customer to call back to supposedly make a payment to Duke Energy. The caller asks the customer for the prepaid debit card’s receipt number and PIN number, giving the caller instant access to the card’s funds and the ability to immediately drain its balance.

“In reality, Duke Energy never asks or requires customers who have delinquent accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service disconnection,” the release stated.

Customers can make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, by mail or in person. Customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.

Anyone who suspects or experiences fraud is urged to hang up and call the police and then contact Duke Energy at 800-521-2232.