October 16, 2013

AG asks SLED to investigate phone scam

State Attorney General Alan Wilson asked Tuesday for a SLED investigation into a sophisticated phone scam that is defrauding utility customers across the state, South Carolina’s electric cooperatives said. Scammers have been calling consumers around the state pretending to be electric cooperative employees and threatening disconnection of service if immediate payment is not made. Consumers are then told to purchase pre-paid debit cards and call a toll-free number with the serial number listed on the card, giving the scammers access to the card. Scammers have targeted the state’s Hispanic communities and small business owners and restaurants, officials said. Wilson asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to investigate because of the volume of complaints. Electric cooperatives officials said they would never call and ask members to share personal information over the phone and sends written notices to members before disconnection. Anyone receiving suspicious call should hang up and call police. The state’s cooperatives serve more than 1.5 million customers in all 46 counties.

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