BREMCO warns members about utility scam
The cooperative urges its members to be aware of the scam and never provide any caller with their personal or account information.
"If members receive a suspicious call at any time from someone claiming to be with Blue Ridge Electric, please feel free to hang up and call your local Blue Ridge Electric office to verify. Once they receive confirmation it's not an official Blue Ridge Electric call, members are strongly encouraged to report the call to their local law enforcement authorities," officials with Blue Ridge Electric said.
Officials said that a typical scam scenario happens as follows: A member receives an unsolicited phone call from someone who falsely claims to be a representative of the electric cooperative. That person tells the member that his or her service will be disconnected if the member does not make an immediate payment to the cooperative. In some cases, the scammer insists on receiving payment within an hour and instructs the member to make a payment over the phone by credit card or e-check.
Scammers were previously targeting mainly Spanish speaking members, but they have branched out and are now targeting members from many different backgrounds, officials said.
If members are unsure that it's Blue Ridge Electric calling, hang up and call the cooperative's office using the phone number listed on a bill, telephone director, BlueRidgeEMC.com or an official document of the cooperative, officials said.
Blue Ridge Electric serves some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, and Alleghany counties, as well as parts of Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties. For more information, visit BlueRidgeEMC.com or contact the local Blue Ridge Electric office.