LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - It’s a new year, but some old scams are still causing issues for residents in the Lake Area.
“Even if we determined who the scammer is today, it could be somebody different tomorrow,” said Entergy Customer Service Manager Margaret Harris.
In 2020, Entergy customers continue to receive threats from scammers...One of the most common scams customers experience is a call from a con artist who says that their electric bill payment is past due, and that service will be disconnected if payment isn’t made.
“Our focus is to let our customers know that we do not demand payment via-telephone for immediate payment,” said Harris.
Entergy is just one of many utilities across the country where customers are subjected to phone scammers, threatening to cut off their power if they don't pay up immediately.
“Often they will identify themselves as Entergy and proceed to tell you that you’re delinquent on your payment and if they don’t receive payment in 30-45 minutes, the electricity will be turned off,” Harris said.
Harris said this sort of practice simply doesn’t happen with Entergy or any utility company.
“We don’t make an outbound call...we’re not going to demand immediate payment over text or email..so ignore those requests.”
Callers often use sophisticated spoofing technology to replicate the utility’s name & number on the customer’s caller ID, making it particularly difficult for the customer to spot this scam.
Harris says although the scam can differ, frequently the scammer directs people to transfer funds electronically, sometimes through "MoneyPak," "Green Dot" or another third-party card or transfer system. Scammers also have asked customers to use Federal Reserve Bank routing numbers and their own Social Security numbers to pay their bills. However, she says the warning signs are always there.
“If you’re confident that you’ve paid your bill...then just hang up and don’t fall prey to all the questions that are going to be asked or the things that make you believe that this may be legitimate when it’s not.”
Remember, Entergy never demands immediate payment from customers over the phone or show up to your door.
These steps can help Entergy customers from falling victim to scams.
- You should never give your personal information to strangers.
- If a call sounds suspicious, hang up and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.
While you may pay your Entergy bill by phone or credit card, it is only through BillMatrix, a third-party vendor Entergy uses for this purpose.