RINCON, GA (WSAV-TV) – Georgia Power released another statewide alert for phone scams. Several have hit businesses in Savannah and Rincon taking thousands of dollars.
It will sound legitimate when you receive a call or return the call from these latest phone scammers. That’s why this scam is cashing in on business owners.
Georgia Power tells News 3 if you receive a call from the numbers 844-523-9869 or 855-383-4249, these are scam numbers.
“We had two business in one week, the same day that these individuals called and tried to run the scam. They were successful at one business and unsuccessful at the other business,” says Rincon police Lt. Jose Ramirez.
Scammers have collected at least $6,000 tricking business owners from Rincon to Savannah. Lt. Ramirez wants power company customers to know the scams could continue.
“It tends to happen during the spring and summer times just when these individuals know that a citizen or a commercial business is going to be using their ac units a lot more,” Ramirez says.
These scammers claim to be Georgia Power, they are timely and now much more realistic in fooling customers that they are the company by having voice messages that sound almost identical to the Southern Company’s automated message.
“If they call the number that is on their caller ID, the answer that they get will sound very similar to our voice response unit and so the caller believes they are talking to Georgia Power,” says coastal customer service manager Marian Teuton with Georgia Power.
Teuton adds that she has heard more scam calls targeting businesses in the last year. That’s in contrast to the past when the crooks mainly targeted the elderly.
“Georgia Power does not call customers and ask them to make payments,” Teuton says.
Nor does Georgia Power collect money personally from customers. The other problem with these scammers, is that rarely are they caught.
“Once they set up these schemes and have all of these separate accounts, some of these accounts are untraceable,” Lt. Ramirez says.
Teuton and Lt. Ramirez urge callers to never return calls from people claiming to be an electric company. Teuton says go back and call through the numbers on the company website.
“Go with your gut, go with your hunch and if something doesn’t seem right it’s probably not,” says Teuton.