Email Scam Warning
A Wood County Electric Cooperative (WCEC) member recently reported receiving an email that appeared to be a utility invoice. It was a fraudulent message indicating that a PG&E bill was being presented for payment. This member called to alert WCEC member services.
This scam is being perpetrated nation-wide according to many media accounts. These emails, spoofing PG&E bills, as well as Atmos bills, provide a hyperlink that directs the recipient to a malicious website that infects the visitor’s computer with malware, software used by criminals to disrupt your computer or to gather sensitive data and private information.
In general, whether these scams are via email, door-to-door, or by phone call, are meant to defraud recipients by obtaining bank account or credit card information. Last August some WCEC members reported receiving telephone calls from potential scammers demanding credit card numbers citing immediate payment due. This latest email scam is just a variation of that, preying on consumers fears that their electricity will be cut off. A past variant of these utility scams has also offered to provide government help with utility bills.
Luckily, to date no WCEC member known to us has fallen victim to one of these utility related scams. However, we remind all of our members that if they receive any call, email, or other contact for any purpose, that requests personal or financial data, they should be extremely cautious before providing information. As a general rule, consumers should:
- Never give credit or debit card, Social Security, or bank account information to anyone who visits, calls, or sends an email requesting information, without first verifying it.
- If you have already provided this type of information to someone and are now concerned, contact your banks and credit card companies.
- Members with any concerns can call the cooperative directly to verify payment schedules and requirements by calling 903-763-2203