July 11, 2012. Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation is warning members about a scam in which residents are told that President Obama will help pay energy bills under a special federal program if they provide personal information, such as a bank routing number or their Social Security number.
“We urge our members to protect their accounting and banking information and to never share your private information with anyone,” said Renee Whitener, director of public relations for Blue Ridge Electric.
“We’re aware that consumers at other utilities have fallen prey to this scam,” she continued. “While the stories from victims vary, the scammers in each situation were very persuasive and know the name of your utility. Residents thought their bill had been paid without first checking with their utility.”
Better Business Bureaus in several states have issued consumer warnings, as well as attorneys general in Mississippi, North Carolina, Arizona and elsewhere.
“We don’t want any of our members falling victim to this scam,” Whitener said. “Never release your private information to someone calling or contacting you.”
If you have questions or concerns about someone offering to help pay your bill or claiming to be a Blue Ridge Electric representative, you should contact Blue Ridge Electric by calling your local district office or our toll free line at 1-800-451-5474
If someone contacts you asking for your personal information, call 911 immediately to report the incident.