Posing as representatives from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), potential thieves have attempted to scam members by calling to demand immediate payment of bills. With REC members experiencing encounters with these scammers over the past several weeks, REC warns all of its members to not become a victim of this crime.
“We want all of our members to be aware of the threat of scammers calling to demand immediate payment for services from REC,” said Maxie Rozell, REC’s manager of safety, security, and risk management. “The scammers claim that electric service will be disconnected unless the bill is paid immediately. In addition, some have claimed there is a problem with the electric meter that could result in a fire if payment for replacement is not made immediately. REC does not and would not contact our members in such a way. Please report these issues to the Cooperative and local law enforcement if you think you have been scammed.”
REC will notify its members when payment has not been received and if disconnection of their electric service is pending. The Cooperative’s member service representatives do not demand immediate payment, but can take payments over the phone when necessary. REC also does not charge for replacing an electric meter for safety reasons. Anyone entering a member’s property and claiming to be with REC will have official identification, and will not need to enter their home to look at the electric meter.
Rozell added, “In some cases the scammers have even demanded REC members meet them at a location to make the immediate payment. REC’s employees work very hard to accommodate our members, but with our safety and yours as our top priority, we would never request a member meet us somewhere to make a payment for any service. We hope this warning is heard and shared so everyone can avoid these types of traps.”
All of REC’s members should be aware of the possibility of being scammed. If you have questions or concerns about a phone call from someone claiming to be an REC employee, report the suspicious activity to the Cooperative by calling 1-800-552-3904.
“Our members should never feel threatened or coerced by someone claiming to be with REC,” Rozell said. “If a member is uncomfortable, they should call us and ask that the matter be handled by another representative.”
REC provides electric service to over 158,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 16,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay. For information about REC, please visit www.myrec.coop. Follow REC on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.