By: Sara Magalio |
Oncor Electric Delivery is warning customers in the Dallas area about a scam using robocalls to fish for credit card numbers and threaten to cut off electricity service.
According to the utility company, customers have received recorded calls from a now-defunct number — 1-800-607-0690 — notifying them of imminent outages in the area.
When customers called back as instructed, they got another recorded message claiming to be from Oncor and an automated menu asking whether they would like to speak to a representative in the billing department in English or Spanish.
The company presumes that after the calls were transferred, a live impostor would then try to scam the caller out of a payment.
IMPORTANT????: We've been made aware of a scam call in Dallas telling customers there is a planned outage in the area. This is NOT true and we do not have a planned outage in the area. Oncor values the public’s trust and takes imposters very seriously. (1/2)
— Oncor (@oncor) September 29, 2018
Please remember, we will never request payment to prevent your power from being disconnected. Do not give out credit card info, social security number or any other personal info to scammers. To report suspicious behavior, please call 888.313.6862. (2/2)
— Oncor (@oncor) September 29, 2018
Oncor confirmed that whoever is behind these calls are impostors. The company also said on Twitter that no such outages are planned in the Dallas area, and that Oncor never requests direct payment from customers, either over the phone or in person, to prevent power from being disconnected.
Oncor also noted that anyone claiming to be associated with this number should not be allowed to enter customers’ homes to perform work.
This is not the first time that scammers have posed as Oncor representatives.
In July, scam artists targeted Oak Cliff residents, specifically single senior citizens, going door to door and asking for personal information. In February, scammers posing as Oncor employees went to Arlington customers’ residences and tried to steal Social Security numbers.
In an effort to combat such scams, Oncor has created informational videos in English and Spanish to inform customers on how to spot and handle impostors.
The company also provides these tips for customers on how to respond if contacted by an impostor Oncor representative, either over the phone or in person:
- If you ever receive a call from someone or are approached by someone who claims to work for Oncor and you are unsure, you can call 1-888.313.6862 to confirm the person’s identity.
- Oncor will never request payment to prevent your power from being disconnected. Never give credit card information or payment to someone claiming to be an Oncor employee who is threatening to disconnect your power without immediate payment.
- Ask for photo identification. Oncor representatives in the field always carry company identification. Even if you are expecting an Oncor representative to perform some type of service at your property, always request and verify identification from the individual. Authorized contractors performing work for Oncor will carry their company identification. Oncor employees also wear company uniforms and drive vehicles with company markings.
- There is no reason that an Oncor representative would need to enter your home to perform work. If someone representing themselves as an Oncor employee insists they need to enter your home to perform work, please do not let them in.
- If ever fearful for your safety, call 911.