March 24, 2015
On March 23, 2015 the Berryville Police Department was made aware that residents were receiving calls from an individual(s) purporting to be representatives of a collection agency called IEC Disconnect whom were working on behalf of Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC). The caller would state that the resident was in danger of having their electric service disconnected if they did not make an immediate credit card payment by phone. When questioned, the caller could not verify account numbers or other pertinent information related to the service they were claiming was in jeopardy of disconnect. The calls were originated from the following phone number, 855-883-9548, and the caller would also then forward citizens to call 855-883-9588 ext. 402 to make payments.
REC has been alerted to this scam and verified that they do not use IEC Disconnect or any other second party collection service with regards to service disconnect. REC has received reports of a similar scam in the past and is working with law enforcement agencies in an attempt to uncover the origin of these scams. More information concerning bill payment options for REC can be found at http://www.myrec.coop/paymentchoices.
Maxie Rozell, REC’s manager of safety, security and risk management said “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.”
As a matter of practice to protect your identity and banking information, personal information such as social security numbers, banking information and credit card numbers should always be safeguarding when you receive unsolicited phone calls requesting such information. If there is ever a question concerning the validity of the call, it is always the best practice to end the conversation and call back the corporation using a phone number that you are personally familiar with or have researched and located on a previous bill or statement.
Authorized By: Chief W. Neal White