It appears to be going on all over the country
From: Mississippi Secretary of State
Mississippi businesses and residential customers are being targeted by con artists posing as Entergy employees who demand immediate payment for an alleged past due utility bill.
According to Entergy officials, the scammer calls a customer to say the electric bill payment is past due and threatens to cut off utility service within one hour unless payment is made immediately. Customers are then told they can transfer funds electronically, usually using a system referred to as “Money Pak.” This payment processing system is NOT authorized to receive funds for Entergy.
Entergy officials say the scam apparently started in Arkansas in May and then spread to Louisiana. The first reports of Mississippi scams were received late last week from three Jackson-area restaurants.
Entergy Mississippi warns customers not to fall victim to the scam. They remind everyone that Entergy never demands immediate payment of a past due bill.
- While Entergy does place courtesy calls if a customer is at risk for disconnection for past-due accounts, they are recorded calls made in advance of the cut-off date and are not from live customer service representatives.
- Entergy bills may be paid by phone using a credit or debit card, but only through Billmatrix, a third-party vendor under contract with Entergy.
- Customers should never give personal or financial information to strangers.
- If a phone call sounds suspicious, customers should call 1-800-Entergy (1-800-368-3749) and ask to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.
More information on payment options for Entergy bills is available online at www.entergy.com.
From: Southern California Edison - - Press Release
“SCE and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office share a common interest in keeping Los Angeles County residents safe from bill scams and other financial crimes,” Lacey said.
“A first step to preventing financial scams — particularly among the elderly and in ethnic communities — is to educate the public,” she said. “When these crimes do occur, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is fully committed to prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law.”
District Attorney Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the country. Each year, the district attorney’s office prosecutes more than 60,000 felonies and 140,000 misdemeanors.
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is the largest electric utility in California, serving a population of more than 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.