The Palestine Police Department has received multiple complaints of telephone solicitors claiming to represent electric companies (such as TXU Energy) and demanding immediate payment from the call recipient to avoid having his or her electricity cut off.
According to a press release, the solicitor will attempt to have the call recipient purchase one or more loadable debit cards and then provide them with the debit card information as payment.
The department is encouraging residents to be on the alert. First of all, residents should be aware of their normal payment schedule and average bill amounts, so that excessive bill amounts are questioned.
Additionally, the department advises that legitimate businesses do not seek payment from customers in this manner — as a pushy telephone solicitor.
Other recent reported phone scams include persons being victimized by callers stating that the call recipient has won a sweepstakes, but then requiring them as the “winner” to send in money.
The department again would like to remind citizens to not give out personal information such as checking account and routing numbers and credit card or debit card information, and ultimately to be skeptical of anything that sounds “too good to be true.”
If a call is questionable, the department advises that residents disconnect from the phone call and call their service provider independently, using the contact number from their bill or the telephone directory to verify the status of the account.