PINEVILLE, La. – Cleco reminds customers to be on alert for fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as in-person scammers posing as Cleco representatives who are looking to take advantage of customers amid fears around COVID-19, the coronavirus.
“While we haven’t received any reports of customers being contacted by scammers, we do know that scammers use opportunities like the coronavirus to prey on preoccupied customers,” said Ron Smith, director of customer experience. “We want to remind our customers Cleco will never initiate calls to demand immediate payment, and our customer service representatives will never ask customers to pay with a pre-paid card. Furthermore, Cleco has temporarily suspended service disconnects and late fees during this critical time.”
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:
· If a Cleco customer receives a suspicious phone call, hang up immediately and 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.
· A Cleco representative will never initiate phone calls to demand immediate payment or tell a customer to pay with a pre-paid card. Cleco offers multiple ways for customers to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft or mail.