Corpus Christi AEP Customers Targeted by Scammers
AEP customers in the Corpus Christi area are being targeted by scammers, the electric company recently warned. Callers claiming to be AEP representatives demand immediate payment and threaten to disconnect services. Scammers are targeting local businesses and senior citizens.
“In some cases, they may even leave a callback number,” said Joel Murphy, AEP Texas director of Customer Services and Marketing. “If called, the response is a very close impersonation of the AEP Customer Operations Center calls.”
Customers are asked to make immediate payments with a prepaid credit card or meet representatives in a parking lot to make a cash payment, Murphy said.
“AEP does not proactively contact customers demanding immediate payment,” he continued.
And AEP would never ask for payment in such unorthodox ways.
Also, AEP is an energy delivery company and does not bill the end-use customers. Bills are paid to the retail electric provider, which then contacts AEP if a customer is to be disconnected for nonpayment.
Other versions of the phone scam include:
• telling customers a new electric meter must be installed and asking for immediate payment for the meter;
• demanding a deposit be paid immediately;
• and offering to discount services if the person signs up for autopay.
AEP warns customers to look for the following red flags if they receive calls from anyone claiming to represent the utility:
• The thief asks to be called back with the receipt number and PIN information on a pre-paid debit or credit card as payment;
• The scammers call from numbers that name AEP Texas on the Caller ID or the phone recording when called back sounds like an AEP Texas phone system message.
To protect against scammers, AEP suggests customers:
• call the retail electric provider to verify account balance and the payment due date;
• only use the phone number on monthly electric bills to call about electric services;
• and hang up on suspicious phone calls. Notify the local police and then AEP Texas at 877-373-4858. NEVER dial the phone number provided by the scammers.
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