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JULY - AUGUST 2012


Beware: Scams target utility customers 


residents across the U.S. have fallen victim to scam, including at least three electric cooperative members.


K


The most recent scam claims there is a new federal program that provides bailout money to people who can’t pay their electric bills. Consumers receive  telling them the government will send payments or apply payments to their residential utility bill. The scammers ask for social security, bank routing and checking account numbers to verify identities. The real reason is identity theft.


The consumer is then given a phony bank routing number that will supposedly pay their utility bills. The bailout never arrives and consumers discover later that their bills were never paid.


Co-op members who receive calls, texts or Facebook messages that claim their bills will be paid if they provide certain personal information, should contact Kiamichi Electric and the local authorities immediately, and please continue to pay your electric bill.


The other scam making its way across the state targets consumers who use


iamichi Electric is alerting members to scams that are targeting electric utility customers. Over 10,000


Green Dot cards to pay bills. Green Dot “money pak” cards are pre-paid cards available at convenience stores and pharmacies. Consumers add money to the cards and use them to pay bills and add money to online accounts. Green Dot also produces pre-paid debit cards.


Scam artists are using both types of cards to get cash from victims. To perpetrate the fraud, scammers call victims and tell them their electricity will be disconnected if they don’t make a payment. They tell victims to buy a Green Dot “money pak” card and to place money on the card. Victims then provide the “money pak” pin number, allowing the scammers to transfer the money immediately from the Green Dot card to another account. Once transferred, the victim’s money is lost.


So far, at least three electric co-op members in Oklahoma have been contacted with this scam. Consumers in other states also are reporting contact.


Kiamichi Electric members and others who use pre-paid cards are warned to not give pin numbers or send pre-paid debit cards to anyone who contacts you over the telephone or online until you can verify that they are a legitimate service.


To report suspected fraud or scams, please contact the AG’s Public Protection Unit at (405) 521-2029, (918)


581-2885 or PublicProtection@oag. ok.gov as well as local law enforcement. For more information about tips and resources, go online to www.oag.ok.gov.


PROTECT YOURSELF


The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Public Protection Unit provides the following tips to avoid fraud:


 Ask for the credentials and information from the company who is asking for payments;


 Be aware that “Green Dot” cards are pre-paid so they act as cash instead of credit, and they are much harder to get your money back once it has already been taken;


 Read the fraud alert on the back of the cards before use;


 Check your previous utility statements to see if your payment is due;


 Don’t take chances with your money, be sure that you have checked and  you make a payment.


Scholarship winners announced


Kiamichi Electric’s Operation Roundup program presented 10 college scholarships to local students this year.


Scholarship recipients include:


Andrea Shields, McAlester Nicole White, McALester


Logan Warren, Wister Timothy Hamilton, Wilburton


Operation Roundup offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors and second-year college students. Recipients must attend college in Oklahoma, and maintain a strong grade point average.


For information on scholarships or how to apply, please visit www.kiamichielectric. org, or call your co-op at 800-888-2731.


scholarships or how to ti


Clint McAlester, Wilburton Clay McAlester, Wilburton Dalton Evans, Panola Bradley Knight, Wilburton Jordyn Prock, Red Oak Nicole Kibart, Wilburton


ALERT Help us shave PEAK


the peak! Use less electricity


4 pm - 8 pm


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