7 On Your Side: Electric bill scams - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

7 On Your Side: Electric bill scams

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Mayo's Grocery has been operating in Lake Charles for some 55 years.

And of course, you don't stay in business without paying the light bill.

So, imagine James Mayo's shock when he gets a call from someone claiming to be with Entergy saying, "There is a disconnect truck on its way to your business and we need to receive payment, so I said, 'Sir, I made that payment last week and I believe I have my receipt with me.' "

Though Mayo had paid the bill, he started to wonder if there had been a mistake.

"I'm saying that I was initially convinced that there was an error some way that my lights could almost be turned off," Mayo said.

But when the man wanted him to wire money to prevent the power from being cut off, he knew it had to be a scam.

"I had already checked on my account. I saw where the check had already cleared for Entergy. So, with that, I did place a call to Entergy," he said.

Mayo was able to immediately verify with Entergy that his bill was up-to-date and ultimately, the scammer gave up and hung up.

Entergy customer service representative, Clyde Mitchell, said they don't handle disconnects that way.

"If a customer is at risk for disconnection, we do contact our customers but it's going to be by recording, never by a live representative. Entergy doesn't want its customers to fall victim to scams. If you suspect that you may be a victim, we ask you to contact us at 1-800-ENTERGY," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said there are a variety of ways to pay and verify the status of one's account. You can pay online at designated payment centers or by bank draft.

"We would recommend our customers apply for my account online. That way, you can stay on top of your account. You can view your account on a regular basis. In addition, you can sign up for the smart app. That's a free app on your smart device," Mitchell said.

Mayo warns people to be careful since the scammers seem to keep getting trickier.

"People need to know that there are scammers out there, there are individuals that will go to any lengths to get at your money," Mayo said.

So, beware, be smart and check it out before you let someone get into your wallet.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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