Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation is warning the public about continued scams targeting members.
Scenarios reported by cooperative members center around receiving phone calls urging immediate payment to avoid disconnection and asking the member to purchase a “green dot” or prepaid, reloadable debit/card cards readily available at retail stores. The scammer asks the consumer call them back with the number on the back of the card.
Scammers like to suggest these methods of payment because the cards aren’t linked to bank accounts and are untraceable. They’re also becoming more commonly used by the public.
Please be aware that Blue Ridge Electric will NEVER ask members to pay with a specially purchased credit or debit card! Be suspicious if you’re contacted asking for immediate payment. Hang up and call Blue Ridge Electric to check your account status. The cooperative has representatives available every day of the year, around the clock, and can answer questions and help with member accounts. Further caution: DO NOT use a telephone number given to you by a caller since scammers are also giving out false telephone numbers and answering as if it’s the utility. ALWAYS call a number you are certain is for Blue Ridge Electric!
Realistic scams are becoming increasingly common so the cooperative warns members to be on guard and take steps to protect their identity and money. Please make friends and family aware as well. Blue Ridge Electric provides the following tips to help avoid falling victim to a scam:
If someone calls you asking for immediate payment on your electric bill, don't ever give out your personal information! This includes your Blue Ridge Electric account number, banking information, social security number or any other personal information.
Hang up and immediately call Blue Ridge Electric at one of the following numbers:
or toll free: 1-800-451-5474.
Blue Ridge Electric is available any time of the day or night to report suspicious phone calls and check on your account status.
You can also set up secure account access at www.BlueRidgeEMC.com.
· Always report fraudulent calls to your local law enforcement authority as well as to Blue Ridge Electric.