News Column

Scam Targeting Spanish Speakers

March 14, 2013

Officials with Surry-Yadkin Electric Membership Corporation are warning members that thieves are posing as cooperative employees in an effort to gain access to money and personal information.

According to Erica Johnson, public information officer for the cooperative, the alleged scammers are calling customers for whom English is a secondary language, and are focusing their targets on Spanish speakers.

"(They) tell them their electricity will be disconnected unless they send payment immediately," she said. "The scammers are instructing these cooperative members to purchase a pre-paid credit card and either send it to a predetermined address or provide the information from that card over the phone."

Johnson said legitimate cooperative employees would never ask for such information over the phone.

"We would never, under any circumstances, contact you to obtain account or personal information," she said. "If you ever doubt the identity of someone claiming to represent Surry-Yadkin EMC over the phone, please hang up and call our office using the phone number listed on your bill or another official document."

Source: (c)2013 The Mount Airy News (Mount Airy, N.C.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.