Shreveport businesses receive phone calls from "fake SWEPCO" - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

SWEPCO warns of scam targeting customers, businesses

Logan Farms was one of the targets of an apparent scam attempt this week, in which someone posing as SWEPCO demanded payment or have their power cut off. Logan Farms was one of the targets of an apparent scam attempt this week, in which someone posing as SWEPCO demanded payment or have their power cut off.
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

AEP SWEPCO is once again trying to get the word out about an apparent scam targeting its customers, including at least two local businesses.

SWEPCO says someone claiming to represent SWEPCO called Southfield Grill and Logan Farms this week and threatened to cut them off for non-payment.

"They received phone calls from someone who claims to be with SWEPCO, and that they owe a certain amount of money, and if they don't pay immediately, we're going to turn them off. It's not a new scam," says SWEPCO spokesperson Kacee Kirschvink.

Both companies in these most recent cases had already paid their bills.

Southfield Grill owner Frank Koerner told SWEPCO he call the number back and found it was a New Orleans number. SWEPCO does not have operations in New Orleans.  

This is the 7th report of a similar attempted scheme involving SWEPCO's name in Louisiana this year.  There have been 8 reported in Texas, and 2 in Arkansas. Last year, 19 cases were reported in Arkansas alone.

"In all those cases, they ask the businesses to get a pre-paid debit card to use, to mail immediately to keep them from being disconnected, and none of that is legit," says Kirschvink. "There is no-one going to randomly call you and say they are going to cut your electricity off if you don't pay immediately."

SWEPCO says the company does not suggest purchase of money cards as a way to pay electric bills and urges anyone who questions the legitimacy of a call to contact them directly, and not at the number they are given over the phone.

Information on legitimate options for paying bills is available at www.SWEPCO.com or by calling the company's Customer Solutions Center, toll-free, at 1-888-216-3523. Customers can call the Customer Solutions Center with any questions or to verify the status of their account.

Copyright 2013 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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