CPS Energy, joined by San Antonio Police Department (SAPD) Chief William McManus and the Better Business Bureau (BBB), warned customers today that utility imposters are still trying to con them out of their hard earned money.
CPS Energy customer Olivia Flores knew something was not right when she received a call, “A man called my phone and claimed to be with CPS Energy. He told me I needed to pay immediately or my services would be terminated in 2 hours. I told him I would call CPS Energy myself and I hung up on him. I reported it to CPS Energy right away and was told by the representative to contact SAPD.”
As of this month, CPS Energy received similar reports from 114 customers. The number is on pace to meet or exceed 441 reports in 2013.
“In cases like this, the best defense is a good offense,” said Chief McManus. “Do everything you possibly can to protect your personal information by not giving these thieves the time of day.”
Residential and commercial customers are receiving phone calls or visits from individuals claiming to be with CPS Energy. The imposters demand payment immediately and threaten to disconnect services. Scammers usually instruct the person to buy a Green Dot or pre-paid debit card. The tactics are being used in scams nationwide.
“These crooks are targeting hard-working members of our community. Since they’re not giving up, neither are we,” said Shawn Eddy, who oversees CPS facilities, assets and security. “We ask our customers to continue to be vigilant and do business with us through known channels – by mail, online at cpsenergy.com, or at a CPS Energy customer service center or authorized vendor.”
Eddy hopes that awareness of the scam will help protect customers. BBB representative Cesar Alvarado reiterated that awareness is the key. “Be sure to make friends, employees, and family members aware that these phone calls are happening. We have plenty of scam prevention tips on our website and so does CPS Energy.”
Customers should know that CPS Energy employees will:
- NEVER threaten to disconnect service by phone or in-person.
- NEVER ask for Green Dot or pre-paid cards.
- NEVER call to request credit card or banking information.
- NOT ask to enter a home without a request for service or prior notification.
- ALWAYS wear a badge with a photo and employee number.
If a customer is visited by someone claiming to be a CPS Energy representative, they can call the company’s Security Hotline at (210) 353-4000 to confirm that the individual is an actual CPS Energy employee.
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