Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Spotting a Scam

Barely a week goes by without reports of a scam making its way across the Mid-South. The criminals behind scams frequently use the threat of utility disconnection to scare people into handing over cash.

Don't become a victim. Learn to recognize the red flags that mean someone is trying to steal from you.

Too Good To Be True 
You hear about an offer, or see one online that looks too good to be true? RED FLAG. It is.  

We've heard from MLGW customers who say they've gotten offers to have their bill paid in full for a fee. A customer shared this Facebook post with us saying you can get your balance paid down to zero as long as you give them $150.

Facebook post advertising a scam.

Bring Cash

Another customer told us she received a phone call with a similar offer. In her case the criminals asked her to come to their office (which they had made up to look like an H&R Block office), bring cash and they'd pay off her $900+ balance.

The woman paid the fee and a check was posted to her MLGW account. Trouble is, it was a bad check. The customer still had a $900+ balance for utility service and she had been ripped off by the criminals posing as H&R Block.

Buy a Prepaid Card

One customer recognized that he had received a scam call so he called the criminal back and recorded the conversation. 

The crook posed as an MLGW representative and threatened the customer with disconnection. He said the only way to avoid disconnection was to fork over $225 in the form of a Prepaid card. The scam caller suggested the customer purchase a prepaid card from Family Dollar. When the customer said he did not live close to a Family Dollar the caller suggested CVS...and Circle K...and Walgreens.

To hear just how pushy the scam caller got click here.

Good to Know 

MLGW operators will never personally call you to demand payment. There are no "surprise" disconnections. Before any customer is disconnected due to non-payment that customer has received a bill as well as a disconnect notice.
  • If someone asks you to bring them cash to pay your bill -- it's a scam.
  • If they tell you to buy a prepaid card and call them back -- it's a scam. 
  • If someone says they'll pay your entire bill for a flat fee -- it's a scam. 
Insulate yourself by making payments in person at an MLGW community office or at an authorized agent. Keyword: authorized. Find one near you here:

Signing up for "My Account" also helps protect you. With an MLGW "My Account" you can access your information 24/7. You'll always know exactly how much you owe and when your next bill is due. You can also use "My Account" to pay by phone or make a secure, online payment.

When in doubt call us. Customer Care Agents can answer billing and account questions: 901-544-6549. #ServingYouIsWhatWeDo

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