Retail electric providers around the state of Texas have learned about a new scam targeting Texans, where electricity customers, particularly the elderly, are being targeted.
A swindle called the “Green Dot Scam” has been reported by customers to several retail electric providers, and here’s how it is described: The scammer (typically a female) calls to tell an electricity customer that their power is in danger of being disconnected if the bill isn’t paid immediately. The caller then tells the potential victim that the only way to pay this close to a possible disconnection is to load money onto a Green Dot prepaid card, and asks that they purchase one at a nearby pharmacy. The scammer provides an amount for the electricity customer to purchase on the prepaid card and then tells the customer to give them the card information as payment.
The reason energy providers refer to this as the Green Dot Scam is because the Green Dot prepaid card has been the type of card requested in these swindles. The con artists who practice this scam utilize Green Dot cards because they are anonymous and virtually untraceable, making it easy to avoid detection of their theft. They target those they know to be most vulnerable to losing heating and cooling, which is why the elderly are often victimized in this scam. Unfortunately the problem may be more widespread than known, as many victims may feel embarrassed at having been duped and not report the crime.
Cirro Energy does not, as a matter of payment practice, call its customers and request that money be put onto a prepaid card and provided verbally over the phone. Whether you are a Cirro Energy customer or you use a different power company, be wary of anyone who calls claiming to be a representative of that company. You can hang up, and contact your power provider directly to find out if there is a problem with your account. If you experience a suspicious payment request that you believe may be a scam, it is best to document any pertinent information and notify your local authorities as soon as possible.
Be safe and cautious!
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