GAHANNA, Ohio, November 17, 2020 — With the COVID-19 pandemic and holidays right around the corner, this is a particularly high-risk time for many people including senior citizens, low-income residents and understaffed small businesses to be targeted by scammers.
As part of Utility Scam Awareness Week (Nov. 16-20), AEP Ohio is reminding customers that criminals will do anything to steal money from unsuspecting victims. It’s important to be alert and know how to spot the signs of a scam.
Scammers posing as AEP Ohio employees often target those who are most vulnerable, including senior citizens, low-income residents and small business owners. Have a conversation with your older loved ones about the importance of recognizing scams so that they’re not victims of fraud and putting their financial safety at risk.
Whether they approach by phone, email or at your front door, scammers typically claim to be an AEP Ohio employee. These imposters will threaten to shut your power off if you don’t make an immediate payment.
We’ve also recently learned of scammers targeting our customers with automated calls, threatening disconnection. Please know that we do NOT make automated phone calls with important information about your account status.
You’re probably talking to a scammer if they:
.Demand immediate payment
.Insist a payment be made with a prepaid credit card
.Ask to meet at another location to make a payment
Here are some key ways to recognize scams and stay safe:
.If you’re told your account is past due, you should check your account status online.
.Only make payments online at AEPOhio.com or through mail, online, by phone or at authorized payment locations.
.AEP Ohio employees are always willing to show their company IDs. Just ask.
.If you’re ever unsure about someone’s identity, call AEP Ohio at (800) 672-2231.