BEWARE, West Asheville businesses are being targeted with phone calls from people posing as Duke Energy.

These scammers are targeting small businesses, especially restaurants, by calling and claiming that the businesses has a past due electric bill and power will be turned off within the hour if a payment is not made.

A few days ago this same issue was reported to be happening in Greensboro, NC. See the story on FOX 8 WGHP website:

Duke Energy recommends if you get a similar call to hang up and call them directly at 1-800-777-9898.

More info from the Duke Energy website is given below:

Misleading Phone Calls

Some customers report receiving phone calls from individuals identifying themselves as Duke Energy employees or a third-party representative of Duke Energy. In some cases, the customer’s caller identification will display Duke Energy’s name or phone number.

The caller attempts to obtain customer account or personal information. Other callers may threaten immediate service disconnection – usually within an hour – if immediate payment is not made with a prepaid debit card.

Occasionally, Duke Energy MAY call you to discuss your account. If we do, we will provide you with information that only you and Duke Energy would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate. If, after receiving the information, you are uncomfortable providing personal information by phone, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up and call the company directly at 1-800-777-9898.

Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection. Customers can also make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, my mail or in person.

Third-Party Payment

Scam artists claiming to be Duke Energy employees are telling customers they have the ability to wipe out entire account balances – for a cash fee. Please know that no one from Duke Energy will ever offer to pay a customer’s bill in exchange for a fee. Duke Energy only charges convenience fees for payments using its automated phone system and one-time payments made through its website. The company does not charge customers extra fees for paying their bills by mail, at authorized pay agent locations or through customers’ online banking services.

If you have a question about whether someone is a legitimate representative of Duke Energy, contact the company directly at 1-800-777-9898 to verify the person’s identity. Call police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter.

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