Scammers targeting OG&E customers, businesses

OKLAHOMA CITY - Authorities say a scam is targeting OG&E customers again.

A man has been calling and telling businesses if they do not pay their bill right away, their electricity will be turned off.

The Miller Grill in Yukon got the call on Tuesday.

"Caller ID said OG&E," Owner Sherry McCormack said. "The guy on the other end was like, 'Yeah, this is so and so from OG&E. Your bill is due for cut off.”

He told her the business owed more than $800 and they needed to call another number to pay up.

McCormack did not believe his claims.

"I told him, 'Just so you know, this call is being recorded by the police because it's a scam. I wasn't born yesterday.' And he's like, ‘F the police’," McCormack said, adding that he hung up after that.

Next, she began doing a little investigating and called the number he gave her.

"It does direct you to an OG&E automated pay system, but it doesn't give you an option to talk to a representative," McCormack said.

Shocked by the sophistication of the con artists, the owners started alerting others.

"We've heard from a couple other people that we weren't the only ones, that they had done other people that day," Jason McCormack said.

"How low can a person be to stoop that low to try and get money from somebody? I mean, you know I bust my butt for what I get," Sherry McCormack said.

OG&E said it is aware of the scam.

A spokesperson sent NewsChannel 4 the following statement:

“Scammers are increasingly targeting OG&E customers by phone, email, and in-person, using techniques that seem official. They are not. A common tactic is for the scammers to say they work for OG&E. Sometimes, more sophisticated scammers may call you and the caller ID on your phone will even say OG&E.

The scammer typically threatens to send out a technician to turn off your power unless you pay a delinquent bill. The scammer may demand you pay the delinquent bill over the phone or with a pre-paid debit card and provide you with an 800 number to call. They may also tell you that someone will come to the your home to collect the payment in cash.

If someone contacts you claiming to be an OG&E employee and asks for money, this is an immediate “red flag” that it may be a scam.

“We want to make sure that our customers are aware and protected,” said OG&E spokeswoman Kathleen O’Shea. “OG&E will not call and ask a customer to pay over the phone with a credit card or prepaid debit card. We also will not send an employee to a customer’s home to collect a cash payment.”

Here are simple steps you can take to stay safe and protect yourself from scams.
1. If you are unsure if a call is from OG&E, you should immediately hang up and call OG&E customer service at 405.272.9741 in the Oklahoma City area, or toll-free at 1.800.272.9741.
2. If you are unsure about your bill being delinquent, you can
a. go to oge.com and log into your account to see if you have a balance
b. Call OG&E and use our automated system to get account information including last payment receipt date and new account balance
c. Call OG&E and talk to a customer service representative”