PINEVILLE, La. – May 19, 2020 – Scammers claiming to be from Cleco are targeting customers again, and Cleco wants customers to be on alert and know the signs to protect themselves.
“We’re getting reports of fraudulent phone calls to our customers by scammers claiming to be from Cleco demanding immediate payment with a credit or debit card and threating service disconnection,” said Ron Smith, director of customer experience. “Cleco customer service representatives will never initiate calls demanding any type of immediate payment or call customers threatening immediate service disconnection.”
Cleco is reminding customers to be on alert for fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as in-person scammers posing as representatives of Cleco. “We have temporarily suspended service disconnects and late fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Smith. However, scammers are still trying to take advantage of customers, so please don’t fall for these scams.”
Common utility scams:
· Disconnection Deception Scammers call threatening disconnection of your service unless you make an immediate payment with a credit, debit or pre-paid card.
· Overpayment Tactic Scammers call claiming you overpaid your bill, and you need to provide your personal bank account information or a credit card number to facilitate a refund.
· Vacate Your Home Scammers claim there is a need to replace your meter or other equipment, and you must leave your home for 72 hours.
· Power Restoration Charge Scammers call offering to restore your electricity more quickly for a fee after a severe storm.
· Identification Attack Rather than directing victims to call a 1-800 number, the scammers ask you to press 1 to
collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.
How Cleco customers can protect themselves:
· If a Cleco customer receives a suspicious phone call, hang up immediately and do not call back the number given by the caller. Cleco customers can reach a Cleco representative by calling 1-800-622-6537, reaching out through Cleco’s official Facebook page at @ClecoPower or visiting a local customer service office. Also, customers can verify account information through the company’s self-service application, MyAccount.
· A Cleco representative will never demand how a customer should remit payment. In fact, Cleco offers multiple ways for customers to pay a bill, including accepting payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in-person at customer service offices or authorized payment centers. A list of authorized payment locations, including Cleco customer service offices, is available at www.cleco.com.
Customers who suspect that they have been victims of fraud, or who feel threatened during contact with one of these scammers, should contact Cleco and local law enforcement authorities. To learn more about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com or follow the company on Facebook at @ClecoPower. Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC is a regional energy holding company that conducts its business operations through its subsidiaries, Cleco Power LLC and Cleco Cajun LLC. Cleco Power is a regulated electric public utility company that owns 10 generating assets with a total nameplate capacity of 3,360 MWs and serves approximately 288,000 customers in Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale power in Louisiana and Mississippi. Cleco Cajun is an unregulated utility company that owns eight generating assets with a total nameplate capacity of 3,555 MWs, with contracts serving nine Louisiana cooperatives, three wholesale municipal customers and one electric utility. For more information about Cleco, visit us at www.cleco.com.