How to Avoid Falling Victim to Scammers

How to Avoid Falling Victim to Scammers

How to Avoid Falling Victim to Scammers

Your phone rings and you expect it to be a family member, friend, or maybe your doctor’s office. Instead, you are met with a voice demanding you make a payment to avoid disconnection of your electricity. At this point, you may be struck with fear and uncertainty. You feel helpless while your mind races trying to think back to when you made your last payment. You then reach for your wallet and start looking for information to provide to the demanding voice on the other end.

Your next step should be to STOP what you’re doing and START asking questions. Would this be a normal call from Santee Cooper? Wouldn’t Santee Cooper send a notice before calling and demanding payment? Did the caller identify themselves? If something doesn’t feel right, go with that gut feeling and HANG UP!

This is most likely a utility scam call. Phone scammers target customers using little information in hopes that in your time of panic and uncertainty, you don’t ask questions and just hand over payment – or even worse – your personal information. NEVER disclose any personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card number, or banking details over the phone unless you’re absolutely certain who you’re speaking to.

And, don’t let your caller ID fool you either. Technology has come so far that it might even falsely display that the call is from Santee Cooper. Scammers will try anything to fool you into believing they are real.

Santee Cooper would never call and demand payment to avoid electric service disconnection. So, if you get a call like this, hang up and either dial 800-804-7424 or email customercare@santeecooper.com. Let us know you received a call from an unknown source, and we will take it from there.

Many times, scammers request payment via pre-pay cards. A popular scam is for them to ask you to buy pre-paid cards and call them back with PIN numbers. This is NOT a Santee Cooper practice. So, if a scammer calls and mentions payment using a pre-paid credit card, treat it as a RED FLAG. 

Santee Cooper will never call and threaten our customers for non-pay disconnection. We would never address our customers in this manner. It is common practice that if you are behind on your electric bill, we will send a late notice, followed by a pending disconnection direct mailer, pre-recorded call, text or email, but we will never call and demand payment or ask you to use a pre-paid credit card.

If you suspect you have been contacted by a scammer you should contact Santee Cooper at customercare@santeecooper.com or call 800-804-7424 and notify your local law enforcement agency.

Author Gleason DeLuca

Gleason DeLuca

Gleason DeLuca, a native of Horry County, has worked for Santee Cooper since 2004. She is a second-generation employee and grew up with a great appreciation for Santee Cooper and its employees. Gleason has held several positions working with customers and is excited about her new role focused on the customer experience, where she can use her skills to provide quality customer service to all Santee Cooper customers. Gleason, her husband and children (Mayson and Willow) live in Myrtle Beach and enjoy the beach, boating, traveling, working on home projects, and spending time with family and friends.