JOHNSON CITY — Pedernales Electric Cooperative officials are warning the public regarding a phone scam targeting members in which the caller threatens to cut off the individual’s electricity unless an “immediate payment” is made.
The call, PEC officials said, is from a person posing as a PEC employee.
PEC takes several steps when it comes to protecting members’ accounts. Officials offered several reminders on how members can also protect themselves against fraud.
• PEC uses an automated system to record courtesy calls to members regarding their accounts. If a member is contacted by a person claiming to be a PEC employee, the individual can verify the claim by calling PEC at 1-888-554-4732. Representatives are available during regular business days 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday.
• PEC submits old delinquent balances to MPB Credit Bureau, which contacts PEC members by phone to collect payment. PEC attempts to notify members by mail before the balance is turned over to the credit bureau. But once that occurs, the member must make payment to MPB. To verify a call is from the credit bureau, the individual can call MPB at 1-800-550-7902.
• PEC employees work in the field to collect payments, but they will never accept cash. All PEC employees carry photo identification badges, and many travel in company vehicles and wear PEC uniform shirts. If somebody approaches a person claiming to work for PEC, the person should ask to see identification or call the cooperative’s toll-free number to verify his or her identity.
• To check an account balance or make payment, PEC members can call the co-op toll-free at 1-888-554-4732 or securely log in at www.pec.coop. Payments by check, debit card, Visa or MasterCard are accepted. There is no additional charge for these services. Members also may mail payments or stop by any of the co-op’s offices.
• Members can check their accounts by logging in at www.pec.coop, emailing the cooperative through the “Contact Us” link on that website or calling PEC at the toll-free number printed on the bill.
Anyone who has information about this scam or thinks they have been a victim should contact their local law enforcement agency or the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/consumer/complain.shtml. Go to www.pec.coop for more information about PEC payment options.