Thursday, November 20, 2014

As holidays near, Entergy disconnection scam resurfaces

Don't get so caught up in the spirit of the season that you let your guard down and fall prey to scammers. The Entergy disconnection scam reared its head again today, and resulted in Louisiana Restaurant Association Member Phil deGruy notifying the association.

“Two of the three Phil’s Grills were called, but fortunately, we knew it was a scam,” said deGruy in a text. “The LRA is good about letting us know about these things, but we can never be reminded enough, so I contacted the office.”

Here’s how the scam works. A con artist will give you a call and say that your electric bill payment is past due and that your service will be disconnected within the hour if you don’t pay up. Then you are directed to transfer funds electronically, sometimes through the system known as “MoneyPack.”

We've also heard of this scam in other parts of the state with the con artists using the local utility provider's name in place of Entergy, in this case. 

Last year, LRA member Keith Dusko, owner of Chiba restaurant in the Riverbend neighborhood, was immediately suspicious and avoided getting duped by scammers. He shared his encounter will readers here

Entergy doesn't want you to fall victim to this scam and reminds you:
  • While the company does place courtesy calls if you are at risk for disconnection, these are recorded calls, and are not calls from live customer service representatives. Entergy NEVER demands immediate payment.
  • While you may pay your Entergy bill by phone or credit card, it is ONLY through BillMatrix, a third-party vendor we use for this purpose.
  • You shouldn't give your personal information to strangers. If a call sounds suspicious, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.
  • You should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay your Entergy bill. 
If you believe you're a victim of this scam, you should notify the proper authorities, such as the local police or the state attorney general's office. If you believe your Entergy account has been affected, call 1-800-ENTERGY (800) 368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.

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