WINCHESTER, VA - Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative has been working around the clock to restore power after Hurricane Sandy. Now, they're working to end a potential telephone payment scam.
"One of our members had been contacted by an individual saying that they were an employee of the coop," says Mike Aulgur, the External Affairs Manager of the Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative. "Asking them to pay a delinquent amount on their bill via credit card, over the phone," he adds.
The SVEC says the alleged scammer threatened to turn off the customer's electricity if they didn't pay immediately.
"This person was not necessarily aggressive when speaking to the individual, but was pushing them to make the credit card payment over the phone," says Aulgur. "What our members need to be aware of is that SVEC will never ask for that type of information over the phone," he adds.
The SVEC says any notices that they send about turning off electricity will be sent through the mail.
"Folks are already on edge as a result of being without service for the past few days and are very cognizant of their electric service at this point," Aulgur says. "It's unfortunate that these individuals are seeking to take advantage of our members in this way, particularly during a time of need".
The SVEC says only one Winchester member has reported the scam, but they say it is a growing trend across the country. Anyone who suspects they are being scammed is asked to call police.