Georgia Power warns of phone scam

As posted on January 15, 2014 on www.bizjournals.com

By Carla Caldwell, Morning Edition Editor

Georgia Power is warning its customers that thieves claiming to represent the company are phoning to say bills are overdue and demanding payment, reports WRDW-TV in Augusta.

The utility says it does not call or visit customers to ask for personal or financial information such as a credit card, debit card, banking information, or Social Security number.

Georgia Power says if an account is past due, customers receive an automated phone message advising to contact the company.

Jeff Freehof, who owns the Garlic Clove restaurant in Evans, Ga. told WRDW he received a fraudulent call.

Freehof said the caller told him he owed $1500 and that a disconnect crew was on the way. He said he told the caller there was a mistake and that he always pays his bills on time.

The caller said there had been a computer glitch and that the payment had been kicked back and was being returned. To settle the bill, Freehof would need to purchase a pre-paid debit card and provide the card numbers over the phone, the caller said.

Skeptical, Freehof started asking questions. "I said what time period is that for and he said that's for the last 3 months and right there I said scam," said Freehof.