Duke Energy is warning its Indiana customers to be on guard against phone calls from scammers who are demanding that utility customers pay their electric bill immediately or risk having their electric service disconnected within the hour.
Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar says scammers often try and take advantage of people during a crisis.
Pinegar says because of the pandemic, Duke has temporarily suspended disconnections for nonpayment.
However, Duke has received reports of scammers threatening disconnections.
Red flags for scam activity include the caller becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due, and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made – usually within the hour.
Another red flag is the caller instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card then call back to supposedly make a payment to Duke Energy.
Another is the scammer asking the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
Or, the customer has received no other notice from Duke Energy that an account is overdue.