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AEP Texas joins Utilities United Against Scams in reminding customers how to avoid scams

(March 7, 2018) — National Consumer Protection Week kicks off this week, and Utilities United Against Scams is continuing its efforts to remind customers of the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers and to educate them on how they can guard against falling victim to imposter utility scams.

Utilities United Against Scams is a collaborative effort consisting of more than 100 natural gas, electric, and water utility companies across the country and Canada. AEP Texas has joined the effort again this year.  Members of Utilities United Against Scams work across the utility industry and with regulators, law enforcement, and other telecommunications partners to help stop scams targeting utility customers.

Over the past few weeks, AEP Texas and local law enforcement have received reports in several areas that scammers are contacting residents threatening to disconnect their electric service unless an immediate payment is made.  Also, there have been reports of individuals going door-to-door, asking to read the customer’s electricity meter and then attempting to make a “low-cost offer for AEP power”.

AEP Texas employees will never proactively contact a customer demanding an immediate payment, insist a payment be made with a prepaid credit card or ask a customer to meet in a parking lot to make a payment. Also, AEP Texas employees do not offer special prices for electricity.  Anyone claiming to be an AEP Texas representative who makes this type of offer should not be allowed access.

Thieves are calling consumers within the AEP Texas service territory and:
•Threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made; (Note: As an energy delivery company, AEP Texas does not bill the end-use customer.   The end-use customer is billed by their Retailer Electric Provider.  AEP Texas disconnects customers for non-payment as instructed by the Retail Electric Provider.

•Telling customers they need a new electric meter, but must make a payment before the new meter is installed;

•Demanding a deposit is paid immediately;

•Offering a discount on their utility bill if they sign up for auto-pay (Note: Again, as a distribution and transmission, or “Wires” company, AEP Texas does not bill the end-use customer.)

More Red flags for scam activity

•The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to AEP Texas.

•The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.

•The scammers are calling from numbers that names AEP Texas on the Caller ID. And they have a telephone recording that sounds like an AEP Texas phone system message.

How to protect yourself

•Call your Retail Electric Provider to verify your account balance and date your payment is due. The correct phone number is shown on your monthly electricity bill.

•The Retail Electric Provider–not AEP Texas–will notify customers that their account is past due and their electric service will be disconnected – never a single notification one hour before disconnection.

•If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police and then AEP Texas. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.

Customers, who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these thieves, should contact local authorities, and then AEP Texas at 1- 877-373-4858.

AEP Texas continues to educate customers about scams through messages on through social media and public service announcements.

AEP Texas is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute scammers.

For more information visit or follow AEP Texas on Twitter, and Facebook to learn more.

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