Alabama Power is contacting commercial customers by phone to warn them of a widespread scam that has been “unusually effective,” according to a press release posted on the company website.
For months, customers have been approached by people pretending to be from Alabama Power. The customers are called and told they have a short deadline to make a payment.
The scammer directs them to a local retailer (like a Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens) to purchase a money pack (reloadable debit card) for the given amount. They are then instructed to call another number to share the account number on that prepaid card. In some cases, they get an answering machine that says “This is Alabama Power,” prompting the customer to leave the information on a recording.
This particular fraud has focused on Alabama Power commercial customers, who would be more likely to have a larger bill.
In response to this ongoing fraud, Alabama Power is expanding the number of channels to communicate the warning:
- Commercial and industrial customers will be getting a call from Alabama Power, with a brief message describing the fraud and how to avoid it.
- Additionally, when commercial customers call our service center, they will hear a short recording with similar information.
- Those same customers will receive special messaging with their billing statements, reinforcing the anti-fraud messages.
General tips to avoid being scammed:
- We will never come to your door and demand an immediate payment.
- We will never call and ask you for bank information or a credit card number.
- Any Alabama Power employee who comes to your door for any reason will have company identification that he or she will gladly show you. If you have any questions about whether a person actually works for Alabama Power, call Alabama Power at 800-245-2244 and do not let him or her inside your home.
- Scammers sometimes claim they represent a public agency or government office offering grants that can pay your Alabama Power or other utility bill. Never provide anyone making this claim your credit card information, your Alabama Power Company bill information or account number, or any personal banking information. If someone makes this claim, call Alabama Power or your local police department to report it.
- If you ever have any question about the status of your Alabama Power account, do not hesitate to call us. You can reach Alabama Power Customer Service day or night, seven days a week, at 800-245-2244.
Commercial customers with questions should contact our Business Call Center at 1-888-430-5787.