Julie Brown got suspicious when the caller on the phone told her that Douglas Electric Cooperative needed almost $1,000 on two gift cards or the power would be shut off to the Hucrest Community Church of God where she works.
Brown said the first caller gave her another number to call to set up a time to pay. She was promised by a second caller she would be refunded, but realized it was a scam before spending any money. Brown said she reported the scam to Douglas Electric and the Roseburg Police Department.
“It was pretty scripted because when I would talk, he would just keep talking,” Brown said. “I should have just been suspicious when they wanted almost $1,000.”
Douglas Electric spokesman Todd Munsey said she isn’t the only one. He said customers should be aware of scammers and never give out banking account or social security numbers.
“If ever in doubt, we encourage consumers to please call customer service representatives,” Munsey said in a statement. “We have received a number of calls from consumers regarding meter change-outs and attempts to confuse the consumer with both Pacific Power and Douglas Electric information.”
Pacific Power workers have been in the process of changing out traditional meters to smart meters, touted as a better way for consumers to manage their power. The transition is expected to be finished before the spring.
Munsey said there is little the utility company can do except warn consumers.
Questions and concerns can be directed to the customer service representatives at Douglas Electric Cooperative at 541-673-6616 or Pacific Power at 1-888-221-7070.