June 14, 2012 at 1:55 p.m. EDT

EPB Advises Customers of Nationwide Utility Scam

Memphis, Nashville among cities reporting victimization of customers

EPB is warning customers of a scam that has stolen payments and personal information from utility customers in several areas nationwide, including Memphis and Nashville in Tennessee.

The scammers claim President Obama has approved special funding through the Federal Reserve for utility bill assistance. There is no such funding.

The scam lures customers into using a fraudulent bank routing number to pay their utility bills and solicits personal information such as Social Security numbers. Online reports cite cases of people falling prey to the con in Florida, California, Illinois and Texas.

EPB advises its customers to be vigilant if confronted with in-person solicitations, social media posts, fliers, phone calls or text messages that could be related to the scam.

EPB’s business practices include the following policies to protect its customers:

  • EPB field employees and contractors do not ask customers for bill payment or personal information such as social security numbers.
  • EPB employees and contractors will never request entry to a customer’s home unless there has been a prior appointment established with the customer.
  • EPB utilizes the services of several contractors for meter reading, tree pruning, service installation and other functions. All EPB contractor vehicles are marked with either EPB Contractor or EPB Fiber Optics Contractor.
  • All employees and contractors should have a picture ID visible and/or be able to produce their ID to anyone who asks to see it.
  • If a customer is contacted by phone and questions the legitimacy of the caller, EPB encourages the customer to get the person’s name, call EPB back at 648-1372 and ask to be directed back to that person.

EPB’s number-one concern is for the safety of its customers and employees. If contacted by a potential scammer, customers are encouraged to contact EPB at 423-648-1EPB (1372).