GAHANNA, Ohio, Nov. 12, 2018 – Scammers continue to target and strike unsuspecting victims every day. That’s why AEP Ohio is joining utility companies across the country in observing the “Utility Scam Awareness Week” starting November 12.

AEP Ohio is reminding customers that criminals will do anything to steal their money. Scammers don’t work regular hours or observe national holidays; they can be on the prowl at any time. The most common scam involves someone pretending to be a utility company employee. Scammers target customers over the phone, by email and even on their doorstep. They threaten to shut off the power if a customer doesn’t make an immediate payment.

Scammers often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens, low-income residents and small business owners during their busiest hours.

Spotting a Scam:

The most important step in protecting your money is knowing how to recognize a scam. You’re probably talking to a scammer if the person:

.Demands immediate payment

.Insists a payment be made with a prepaid credit card

.Asks to meet at another location to make a payment

How to Stay Safe:

.If you’re told your account is past due, check your account status online.

.Make payments only to authorized AEP Ohio agents or through AEPOhio.com.

.Remember that AEP Ohio employees are always willing to show their company ID. Just ask.

.If you’re ever in doubt about someone’s identity, call AEP Ohio at (800) 672-2231.

.If you think you’re being targeted by a scammer, end the conversation and call AEP Ohio to report it. Representatives can verify your account status.

.Follow us on social media. AEP Ohio monitors the latest threats and alerts customers through our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“Scammers continue to get more clever and sophisticated. They can be convincing and we want our customers to be alert,” said Katie Grayem, director of AEP Ohio customer experience. “It’s important that our customers know how to spot scams, and what to do if they believe they’re a victim. Education is the key to preventing this from ever happening. We want to make sure our customers are aware and remain vigilant.”

For more information visit AEPOhio.com/StopScams.