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West Virginia Public Service Commission warns of utility scam calls

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WVVA) - The WV Public Service Commission is warning customers about a series of calls currently being made in which imposters claim to be representing the Appalachian Electric Power Company.

The callers then threaten to shut off power a customer’s power within an hour due to unpaid bills unless an immediate payment is made through an online banking service.

If the call is not answered a message is left directing customers to call 1-888-432-9056.

If a customer calls that number, a recording will play, saying, "Welcome to Appalachian Power’s Customer Service Center” and gives callers some options, including to press “0” to speak with a representative where the scammers will attempt to get payment.

The Public Service Commission has received multiple complaints of the same scam today.

“If a caller claims to be from your utility and threatens to shut off your service, hang up on them and call the utility to verify any amount you may owe on your bill and to report the scam,” warned PSC Chairman Charlotte Lane.

“Legitimate utility company employees will never insist on one specific form of payment.  These scammers are criminals, and customers should never interact with them.  Do not share your banking or credit card information with anyone you cannot confirm is a legitimate utility representative.  And never share your personal information including your Social Security number.  Only use the customer service phone number printed on your utility bill.  We want everyone to be safe and protected during these turbulent times.  Knowing how to identify a possible scam is part of that effort.”

mlane

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