Protecting Against Utility Scams
Scammers have been preying on utility customers for years, and in recent months, CUB has continued to receive reports of these attempts on customers. Unfortunately, as technology evolves, it's not always easy to know when these attempts are really from CUB. The following “Dos and Don'ts” can help customers learn the signs of a scam and educate others about how to protect against them.
Scammers often will attempt to convince someone that they already have sensitive information about a customer or their account; however, this isn't always the case. Never give out personal or account information if someone contacts you claiming to be from CUB or another utility provider. The scammer may ask you to verify information pertaining to your banking or yourself, like your Social Security number or birthday, but you should never provide this information to someone who you are not sure is a CUB employee. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a good rule of thumb is to never give out banking information unless you placed the call or contacted CUB to begin with.
Many scams reported to CUB include callers demanding gift cards or other forms of untraceable funding from customers. CUB will never ask for these forms of payment, and payment is never requested over the phone, through email, or in person at your home. CUB does not call or send text messages that threaten to disconnect service and demand payment via MoneyPaks, Green Dot Cards, Money Grams, or other prepaid credit cards.
A simple way to potentially identify a scammer is to ask for details about yourself or your account that could only be known by an official CUB representative. Utilities United Against Scams recommends asking for information like your account number, your last payment date, or for the person's name/employee identification number. CUB employees are required to carry employee identification cards with them while working, so they should be able to present these cards to customers if asked. If the person cannot prove their identity, a safe course of action is to always tell them that you will be contacting CUB directly.
Because CUB contracts with other companies, you also may see non-CUB employees with legitimate CUB badges. However, even professional-looking badges may have been forged, so call CUB at 865-457-9232 to verify that someone has been sent to your address.
When CUB is aware of scams affecting our customers, it becomes easier to combat them. Anyone who believes they have been contacted by a potential scammer should call CUB immediately to both verify their account status and report the scam.
Learn more about recognizing the signs of scams and how to react to them through the following resources:
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