REC Warns of Sophisticated Phone Scammers
Fredericksburg, Va. - Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) warns member-owners to beware of scammers posing as REC employees and threatening to disconnect power unless payment is made over the phone.
In many cases, spammers are able to “spoof” a familiar phone number with a local area code to make the call look more legitimate.
If you receive a suspicious call, please keep the following in mind:
- At this time, REC has suspended disconnections for non-payment.
- The Cooperative is not calling to demand payment on accounts that have fallen behind.
- REC does not use collection agencies to contact members by phone.
- If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be an REC employee demanding immediate payment, report the suspicious activity to local law enforcement.
“If you have any doubt at all, the best way to protect yourself is to hang up and call REC directly,” said John Crawford, REC’s manager of safety, risk and operational support services. “That puts you in control of the situation and ensures you are talking safely with an REC employee.”
Other steps you can take to protect yourself and your personal information:
- Never give personal account or payment information to someone you do not know.
- Do not answer calls from unknown phone numbers.
- Don’t follow instructions on a pre-recorded message, such as “Press 1 to speak to a live operator.” This is likely an attempt to lure you into providing personal information.
- Do not share personal or financial information, including your Social Security number or bank account information, with a caller you do not know. The caller might say they have the information and “just need to confirm it with you.” That is a trap.
- Do not make payments by gift cards, prepaid debit cards or wire transfers. Fraudsters favor those methods because they are difficult to trace.
REC provides electric service to over 170,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 17,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about REC, please visit www.myrec.coop. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.