Freddy Padilla, an Alabama Power public relations representative, said there have been several recent incidents where customers have been approached by people pretending to be from Alabama Power. He said the scammers have targeted residential and business customers.
“The customers are called and told they have a short deadline to make a payment,” Padilla said. “The scammer is asking them to go to a local retailer (like a Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens) to purchase a money pack for the given amount. They are then instructed to call another number to share the account number on that prepaid card. In some cases, they get an answering machine that says ‘This is Alabama Power,’ and asks the customer to leave the information on a recording.”
Padilla said the Jasper office had received several calls Wednesday and Thursday from customers concerning the possible scam.
“We had a rash of these statewide about two weeks ago,” he said. “We sent out an alert in many areas then. Now it seems they are hitting certain areas, such as Jasper. That’s where we are hearing about the scam right now.”
The company is most concerned about its customers, Padilla said.
“We are trying to get the information out there so people won’t fall for it,” he said.
Padilla gave several tips for customers to keep them from falling victim to scams.
Those tips included:
•Alabama Power will never come to your door and demand an immediate payment.
•The company will never ask over the phone for bank information or a credit card number.
•Any Alabama Power employee who comes to a door for any reason will have company identification that he or she will gladly show.
For questions about whether a person actually works for Alabama Power, call Alabama Power at 1-800-245-2244 and do not let him or her inside your home.
•Scammers sometimes claim they represent a public agency or government office offering grants that can pay Alabama Power or other utility bills.
Never provide anyone making this claim your credit card information, your Alabama Power Company bill information or account number or any personal banking information.
If someone makes this claim, call Alabama Power or your local police department to report it.
•Any question about the status of your Alabama Power account can be checked with the company’s customer service department day or night, seven days a week, at 1-800-245-2244.