Scammers posing as Electric Co-op reps
Scammers posing as Rappahannock Electric Cooperative representatives have been calling cooperative members to demand immediate payment of bills.
“We want all of our members to be aware of the threat,” said Maxie Rozell, REC’s manager of safety, security and risk management, in a statement.
He said that the scammers are claiming that electric service will be disconnected unless the bill is paid immediately. Some also have claimed there is a problem with the electric meter that could result in a fire if payment for replacement is not made immediately.
“REC does not and would not contact our members in such a way,” Rozell said. “Please report these issues to the cooperative and local law enforcement if you think you have been scammed.”
REC will notify its members when payment has not been received and if disconnection of their electric service is pending. The cooperative’s member service representatives do not demand immediate payment, but can take payments over the phone when necessary.
REC also does not charge for replacing an electric meter for safety reasons. Anyone entering a member’s property and claiming to be with REC will have official identification, and will not need to enter their home to look at the electric meter.
“In some cases the scammers have even demanded REC members meet them at a location to make the immediate payment,” Rozell said. “REC’s employees work very hard to accommodate our members, but with our safety and yours as our top priority, we would never request a member meet us somewhere to make a payment for any service.”
REC members who have questions or concerns about a phone call from someone claiming to be an REC employee are asked to report the suspicious activity to REC by calling 800/552-3904.
“Our members should never feel threatened or coerced by someone claiming to be with REC,” says Rozell. “If a member is uncomfortable, they should call us and ask that the matter be handled by another representative.”
REC, which is headquartered in Fredericksburg, provides electric service in parts of 22 Virginia counties.
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407