Last year, Duke Energy saw 17,000 reported scam attempts. This year, that number has increased to 50,000.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of scams related to Duke Energy power bills is on a sharp rise, the Charlotte-based energy provider said Wednesday.
Duke Energy said it has seen nearly nine times more reported scam attempts compared to this time last year. Duke said the scammers are making phone calls and sending text messages to people threatening to disconnect their service without immediate payment.
Last year, Duke Energy saw 17,000 reported scam attempts. This year, that number has climbed to 50,000. Thankfully, Duke said only 1% of those contacted fell victim to the scam.
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A spokesperson for Duke Energy said the company will never contact customers threatening to disconnect utility service. If a Duke Energy customer is facing disconnection, that message will be communicated through their bill and when making payments through Duke’s automated payment system.
Plus, Duke Energy will never attempt to collect payment through apps like Venmo or Cash App.
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Tips to avoid becoming a victim of a scam
Emotional appeal – Any pitch that ratchets up your emotion will inhibit your rational judgment.
Sense of urgency – You MUST act now, or else.
Request for unorthodox payment – Gift cards, prepaid credit cards, wire transfers, etc.
Explanations that don’t ring true – If your new “landlord” can’t show you the inside of the house, that could be because they don’t own it.
You won, now pay up – It’s not a prize if you have to pay for it. Taxes, fees, shipping, whatever.
Too good to be true – That’s because it’s not true. Sorry, your long-lost relative didn’t die, leaving you millions. That car you bought online for a third of its Kelly Blue Book value doesn’t really exist. The son of a billionaire diamond broker didn’t “swipe right” on you and fall instantly in love. That work-at-home job paying you hundreds of dollars an hour for stuffing envelopes isn’t real.