NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A scam as old as time ramps back up again during freezing temperatures in Nashville.
Cindy Foster got a call from an 844 area code telling her that if she didn’t pay her outstanding Nashville Electric Service bill within 30 minutes, her power would be disconnected.
“It sounded like the same recorded voice that you get when you call the local NES number,” Foster said.
Foster, who normally pays her bills over the phone, said she would’ve fallen for the scam had there not been a suspiciously short deadline.
“It’s pretty scary that some of these calls are so perfectly executed that they sound like the real thing,” Foster said.
The Better Business Bureau said in extreme weather events, these scams tend to spike.
“Anytime you’re being pressured to pay on demand, chances are it’s not the real thing,” President Robyn Householder said. “NES is going to work out a payment plan for you, if in fact your account is past due, when these scammers are not interested in working out a deal.”
Householder said there have even been reports of fake representatives knocking on people’s doors. She recommends shutting the door on those without proper credentials, but certainly never let them inside.
Householder said elderly people are typically the target in these types of scams, but even millennials should be aware of strange activity on utility accounts.