Several of Kentucky’s electric cooperatives are reporting another surge in scammers attempting to exploit Kentuckians amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
In recent days, Shelby Energy Cooperative members have contacted their co-op to warn about the scam attempts. Some members describe a scam where the caller claims to be with the co-op and insists that the member has a past-due balance and is in danger of disconnection. The caller requests the member's Account Number and immediate paymnet.
Shelby Energy urges members to avoid arranging payment or divulging account or personal information, including debit or credit card information, over the phone unless you are certain you are speaking to your utility. If you are unsure, hang up and call Shelby Energy at 800-292-6585 to verify the legitimacy of the call. When making online payments to your electric provider, always double-check to ensure that you are on the correct website before submitting credit card information.
Kentuckians who suspect a scamming attempt should contact their utility and the Kentucky Attorney General’s office:
Online scam reporting form: ag.ky.gov/scams
Consumer Protection Hotline: 1-888-432-9257
Below are some tips Kentuckians should follow to protect themselves:
- Do not assume the name and number on your caller ID are legitimate. Caller IDs can be spoofed.
- Never share your personal information, including date of birth, Social Security number or banking account information.
- Never wire money to someone you don’t know.
- Do not click links or call numbers in unexpected emails or texts – especially those asking for your account information.
- Shelby Energy will NOT require their customers to purchase prepaid debit cards or money orders to avoid an immediate disconnection.
If you receive a call that sounds like it may be a scam, or if you believe the call is a scam, hang up, call the police, and report the call to the Attorney General’s Office.