Cathy Jett is the assistant business editor at The Free Lance-Star, and specializes in covering the area's retail scene.
Scammers target REC customers
Scammers posing as Rappahannock Electric Cooperative representatives have been calling some customers to demand immediate payment of bills.
Their targets so far have been those who speak Spanish, the elderly and businesses throughout the cooperative’s coverage area.
“The callers claim the electric service will be disconnected unless the bill is paid within hours,” Maxie Rozell, REC’s director of safety and security. “In addition, they have claimed there [is] a problem with the electric meter that could result in a fire if payment for replacement is not made immediately.”
In some cases, the scammers also have demanded that members meet them at various locations to make the payments, Rozell said.
REC does notify its customers if payment has not been received and disconnection of their electric service is pending. But its customer service representatives do not demand immediate payment, never request that customers meet them somewhere to make a payment and can take payments over the phone if necessary.
REC also does not charge its members to replace electric meters.
Questions or concerns about a phone call from someone claiming to be an REC employee, or other suspicious activity, can be reported to REC by calling 800/552-3904.