MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Montgomery Police Department, Alabama Power and Dixie Electric Cooperative say scammers are targeting your utility bills - and they want you to be prepared should you get a call saying your utility bill is late.
Police say they are investigating a solicitor scam in which someone is calling local small businesses and restaurants and telling them their utility bill payment is late and if they don't pay right away, their utilities will be shut off.
Alabama Power says the basic fact pattern reveals that an individual claiming to be a representative of Alabama Power calls the customer stating payment is needed.
Dixie Electric is reporting similar complaints from its customers.
In order to avoid an interruption of service, the caller instructs the customer to go to a local retail store and purchase a pre-paid bank card for a certain amount. Customers then must call a particular phone number and provide the numeric codes from that bank card.
Alabama Power says those scammers then use those codes to retrieve the balance from that card.
Police are urging anyone who receives this call to contact their utility company directly before making a payment.
Alabama Power says its customers need to know that their representatives will never come to a customer's door and demand an immediate payment. They will never ask you over the phone for bank information or a credit card number.
Any Alabama Power employee who comes to your door for any reason will have company identification available for you to see. And if you have any questions about an Alabama Power employee, call the company at 1-800-245-2244 and do not let him or her inside your home.
Dixie Electric representatives say customers who receive the call should notify MPD or Dixie Electric's number at 1-888-349-4332.
Businesses who receive a solicitation of this nature are asked to contact the Montgomery Police Department at 625-2831.