Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative reminds members to be on alert for a telephone scam that continues to plague rural Tennesseans.
Scam artists call a home or business posing as a co-op or utility employee and threaten to shut off service unless the consumer provides immediate payment using a reloadable debit card, prepaid gift card or online payment service like PayPal.
“The calls sound official, and the caller ID may even display the utility name,” says Bob Matheny, President/CEO of SVEC. “This is particularly harmful to consumers because there is no way to track or recover the money.”
Officials stress that Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative will:
- NEVER call members to request credit card, banking or other financial information over the telephone.
- NEVER call members threatening immediate disconnection unless a payment is made. SVEC will give members with a delinquent account a courtesy call prior to disconnection. It is a recorded call and will not ask for any personal information.
- NEVER suggest that you pay by pre-paid credit or debit card or with an online payment services like PayPal.
- NEVER ask to enter your home.
“We are asking co-op members to be wary of any phone calls,” Matheny says. “If in doubt, hang up immediately, and call your local SVEC office. Be certain you are dealing with an official representative of the cooperative.”
Your local offices are:
Pikeville – 423-447-2131
Tracy City – 931-592-2511
South Pittsburg – 423-837-8605
Whitwell – 423-658-7832 – Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Afterhours – 1-888-421-7832