Scam Alert: You will lose your AC if you don't pay up

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- With the hot temperatures, scammers are capitalizing on the fear of having no air conditioning by threatening to shut off your power, if you don't pay up. This is an old scam that continues to evolve and trick consumers into losing money.

It starts with an unexpected call or text message that says you must pay your power bill right now, or your power will be shut off. Several ABC11 viewers reached out about this scam. One person got a text message that said in part, "Dear Duke Energy customer, this notification is to information you that your electricity services will be disconnected due to lack of payment and due to change of meters." It goes on to state our technicians have been dispatched and will be arriving at your location in about thirty to forty-five minutes.

Another viewer sent us screenshots that show Duke Energy is calling on her caller ID. When she answered, she said she was told about the lack of payment on her account and that her power would also be shut off unless payment is made right away.

These are all scams, as scammers will manipulate the caller ID and voice recording to make it appear Duke Energy or any power company is calling.

It's a sure sign it's a scam if they demand payment with a prepaid debit or gift card, or for you to pay through a cash app. If you get one of these calls or texts, don't respond or take any action, instead reach out to the utility company directly. Duke Energy has these tips on their website on how to protect your money. . PWC also has these tips on their website reminding customers that PWC employees do not call customers to collect payment. Nor do they collect payments in person. Never provide personal information or banking information if someone calls you to collect payment.
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