Look out for scam artists posing as debt collectors from Tennessee Valley Authority
Unfortunately, Caller ID can’t tell us when a scammer is on the line. We must be vigilant for the latest techno-tricks scammers are using to steal our hard-earned cash.
Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (UCEMC) warns you to be on the lookout for scam artists posing as debt collectors from Tennessee Valley Authority. They could be targeting UCEMC members. These scam callers threaten to shut off service unless the member provides immediate payment using a credit card or money order. The caller may also request that members call a 1-888 number to provide their credit card information.
“These calls sound official, and the caller ID may even display the TVA name,” says Jimmy Gregory, General Manager of UCEMC. “This scam is particularly harmful because there is no way to track or recover the money.”
“Caller ID Spoofing” is the practice of rigging the telephone network to indicate on caller ID, a phone number different from that of the telephone from which the call was placed. The term is commonly used to describe situations in which the caller’s motivation is considered malicious. TVA will never call UCEMC members directly. TVA will not and cannot request payment from UCEMC members. Only UCEMC personnel are authorized to contact members and even then, only during business hours.
- UCEMC will never call members to request credit card, banking or other financial information over the telephone.
- Although all forms of payments are accepted, UCEMC will never call members demanding a specific payment method be used.
- UCEMC will never call members requesting payment when UCEMC offices are closed.
- UCEMC service personnel will never ask to enter your home unless you initiate the request for co-op personnel to perform a specific service. Co-ops do this only by appointment and with a member’s prior knowledge.
If you have any doubts about who might be calling regarding your electric bill, contact your local UCEMC District Office:
Whether by phone, in person, or online, be certain you are dealing with an official representative of the Cooperative and be sure you are visiting our official website. UCEMC personnel carry company identification at all times and vehicles are plainly marked with the UCEMC official logo. Pay your bill online ONLY through the OFFICIAL ucemc.com website. Third-party, so-called “bill-payment” websites posing as UCEMC might not pay your bill on time, if it is paid at all. Look on your browser bar to indicate that you are on UCEMC’s secure and OFFICIAL website.