JEFFERSON - While telephone scams are nothing new in the area, Jackson EMC officials said in a news release Thursday that they have seen an increase in scam attempts, and some have been successful.
In this latest scam, a caller impersonating a Jackson EMC representative threatens to immediately disconnect customers' power if they do not ante up pre-paid cards or provide credit card numbers for payment.
"Regrettably, we have had customers who have lost significant sums of money when they comply with these scammers' requests, including one member who turned over $3,500 in prepaid cards to keep their power on," said Jackson EMC Director of Customer Service Brent Cochran.
"Once those cards are turned over to the scammers, there's nothing we can do to help our customers recover those funds, except recommend they file a police report."
Cochran said in some cases, scammers had the customer's Jackson EMC account number and amount of their last bill. They also told customers who questioned the amount that they could pay $25 to delay the disconnection process.
He said the scammers have demanded prepaid cards such as Green Dot MoneyPak cards or credit card numbers.
"Most of the customers who have reported this scam to us do not have past due accounts," said Cochran.
He said the best thing to do if a customer receives a call is to call the comapny.
"We strongly caution all customers not to provide scammers with prepaid cards, credit card numbers or any other information. If you receive one of these calls, hang up and call the phone number for Jackson EMC that's listed in your phone directory; that way, you'll be sure of who you're talking to."
That phone number is 1-800-462-3691.