Pioneer Electric warns of scam

Published 12:07 pm Friday, July 12, 2013

Pioneer Electric Cooperative wants to warn its members and the general public of a phone scam where crooks are posing as customer service agents to steal your personal information.

According to Pioneer Electric Cooperative, this is how the scam is being run: Scammers call members claiming to be from Pioneer Electric Cooperative (or your utility provider).

The scammers say you have past due payments and your account is in jeopardy of being disconnected. The caller advises you to make a payment either immediately on the phone via credit card, by calling a special number or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.

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Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Pioneer Electric does not follow this practice.

When Pioneer Electric contacts a member, the representative will always have the members’ account number.

Even then, if you are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, it is always appropriate to let the caller know you prefer to call them back at the utility’s published customer service number.

You should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security.

Switching to paperless billing may also provide more security by avoiding potential theft of utility bills from the mail box or trash can.

Pioneer Electric can be reached any time, toll free at 1-800-239-3092.

Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information – such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they’re told to send money – and to report the incident and the information to local police and Pioneer Electric.

Pioneer Electric Cooperative serves more than 13,000 meters along more than 2,740 miles of distribution lines in Butler, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dallas, Lowndes, Monroe and Wilcox counties.