To recognize National Utility Scam Awareness Week, Nashville Electric Service (NES) is joining Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) to remind customers to be aware of red flags to avoid becoming a scam victim.
Scammers may use phone, in-person or online tactics to target customers. Scammers who target NES customers typically “spoof” or alter the name on the caller ID so that it displays as an NES phone number. They often claim the customer’s account is past due and immediate payment is required. Scam artists will make up elaborate details to make the scam sound convincing. The scammers usually try to intimidate customers into purchasing a pre-paid debit card and call a toll-free number to make the payment.
Small business owners, non-English speaking customers and the elderly are frequently targeted, but any customer can be a target. If a customer is unsure about the authenticity of a caller or the identity of a service worker, it is important that they call NES directly.
NES offers the following tips to help customers protect themselves:
- If someone calls threatening to cut off your power if you don’t pay, hang up. This is a scam.
- NES does not provide a toll-free number to call for making a payment.
- If someone in a utility uniform shows up at your door for unscheduled service, check for proper identification and have them wait outside while you call NES at 615-736-6900 to verify their information.
- If you have doubts about a phone call, email, text or on-site visit, reach out to NES before taking any action.
- Never give personal or financial information to an unsolicited caller.
- If you think you are a victim of a scam, contact the local police.
- Use the hashtag #StopScams on social media to help spread awareness about utility scams.
All NES field employees wear uniforms and carry photo ID badges and company vehicles are marked with an NES logo and/or vehicle number. NES never goes door-to-door to solicit payment information.