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“These customers were scammed by individuals or companies claiming to represent Duke Energy,” the release states. “Duke Energy reminds you to protect yourself by contacting us and local law enforcement if you suspect or experience fraudulent activity.
MISLEADING PHONE CALLS
Some customers report receiving misleading phone calls from individuals who identify themselves as Duke Energy employees or a third-party representative of the company. In some cases, the customer’s caller identification will display Duke Energy’s name or phone number.
The caller attempts to obtain customer account or personal information. Other callers may threaten immediate service disconnection – usually within an hour – if immediate payment is not made with a prepaid debit card.
Occasionally, Duke Energy MAY call you to discuss your account. If we do, we will provide you with information that only you and Duke Energy would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate. If, after receiving the information, you are uncomfortable providing personal information by phone, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up and call the company directly at 1 (800) 777-9898.
Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts receive multiple notifications from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before disconnection.
Customers can also make payments online, by phone, by automatic bank draft, my mail or in person.
Scam artists claiming to be Duke Energy employees are telling customers they have the ability to wipe out entire account balances – for a cash fee. Please know that no one from Duke Energy will ever offer to pay a customer's bill in exchange for a fee. Duke Energy only charges convenience fees for payments using its automated phone system and one-time payments made through its website. The company does not charge customers extra fees for paying their bills by mail, at authorized pay agent locations or through customers' online banking services.
If you have a question about whether someone is a legitimate representative of Duke Energy, contact the company directly at 1 (800) 777-9898 to verify the person's identity. Call police immediately if you believe the person is an imposter.
Duke Energy provided the following list of fraud prevention tips to protect its customers: