Phone Scammers Concoct False Buyout Story to Con Baldwin EMC Members

A Baldwin EMC member has recently fallen victim to a scam artist posing as a co-op representative. According to the member, the caller claimed that Baldwin EMC had been bought out by AT&T. The caller went on to say the member’s account had accrued several months of back-payment and that a disconnect was scheduled if payment was not made immediately. Unfortunately, the member fell for the story and gave the caller personal credit card information.

The member then called Baldwin EMC directly to discover it was a scam.

“It is extremely disheartening to learn that individuals will go to such lengths to prey on other people in this community,” says Baldwin EMC Vice President of Finance and Accounting Alan Schott. “What’s even more disappointing is to find out that our members have been victimized by the situation. At the point in which we received the call from the member in this case, it was too late. All we could do was advise the member to call the credit card company immediately.

“To our members, we can’t stress enough that a legitimate call from Baldwin EMC will never include a demand for a credit card number for payment over the phone. We will also never ask a member to meet us for payment at a location that is not a Baldwin EMC office. If members receive a suspicious call, the best thing to do is hang up immediately and call our office.”

Phone scams typically involve:

* Callers threatening power disconnection if payment is not received immediately;

* Callers asking members to pay via credit card, a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.

As a reminder, while Baldwin EMC does use phone contacts to communicate with members, the cooperative will never demand payment over the phone. If you receive a phone call like this:

* Do not give out any personal information or agree to make any payments.

* Never make plans to meet the caller at a location that is not a Baldwin EMC office.

* End the call as quickly as possible.

* Report it to Baldwin EMC by calling (251) 989-6247 or (800) 837-3374.