VEC Imposter Scams Customers
Volunteer Energy Cooperative reminds members to be on alert for a telephone scam that continues to plague rural Tennesseans.
Scam artists call a home or business posing as a co-op or utility employee and threaten to shut off service unless the consumer provides immediate payment using a reloadable debit card, prepaid gift card or online payment service like PayPal.
“The calls sound official, and the caller ID may even display the utility name,” says VEC President/CEO Rody Blevins. “This is particularly harmful to consumers because there is no way to track or recover the money.”
Officials stress that VEC will:
- NEVER call members to request credit card, banking or other financial information over the telephone.
- NEVER call members threatening immediate disconnection unless a payment is made.
- NEVER ask to enter your home unless you initiate the request for co-op personnel to perform a specific service. Co-ops do this only by appointment and with a member’s prior knowledge.
“We are asking VEC members to be wary of any phone calls,” Blevins says. “If in doubt, hang up immediately, and call law enforcement and your local VEC Customer Service Center. Be certain you are dealing with an official representative of the cooperative.”
VEC is an equal opportunity provider and employer.