Scammers claiming to be from Cleco are calling customers, and Cleco wants customers to be on alert and know the signs to protect themselves.
"We're getting reports of fraudulent phone calls to our customers by scammers claiming to be from Cleco and threatening service disconnection if customers don't make an immediate payment," said Ron Smith, director of customer experience. "Cleco will never call customers threatening immediate service disconnection or demand any type of immediate payment."
In some instances, the scammers leave a message with an 800 number asking customers to call back. Customers who call back hear a greeting that makes them think they're calling Cleco, but it's not Cleco. It's a scam. "These scammers are becoming more sophisticated," said Smith. "They have techniques that make the phone number you see on your caller ID appear to be Cleco in an effort to deceive you. Customers should hang up the phone immediately and never call back the number on their caller ID or the number left by the scammer as a call-back number."
Customers should be aware of these common utility scams:
· Disconnection Deception Scammers call threatening disconnection of your service unless you make an immediate payment with a pre-paid card.
· Overpayment Tactic Scammers call claiming you overpaid your bill, and you need to provide your personal bank account information or a credit card number to facilitate a refund.
· Vacate Your Home Scammers claim there is a need to replace your meter or other equipment, and you must leave your home for 72 hours.
· Power Restoration Charge Scammers call offering to restore your electricity more quickly for a fee after a severe storm.
· Identification Attack Rather than directing victims to call a 1-800 number, the scammers direct callers to press 1 to collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.
How Cleco customers can protect themselves:
· Hang up the phone immediately Do not call back the number given by the caller. Cleco customers can reach a Cleco representative by calling 1-800-622-6537 or reaching out through Cleco's official Facebook
page at @ClecoPower. Also, customers can verify account information through the company's online customer account management service, MyAccount.
· Delete deceptive emails
· Shut the door on scammers Cleco service personnel will always wear clothing that clearly identifies them as Cleco employees. Cleco contractors also should be able to produce a photo identification card which clearly identifies them as a Cleco contractor.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers, should contact Cleco and local law enforcement authorities.
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