Scammers go after utility customers with threats of turning off power

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OKLAHOMA CITY - We’ve been receiving an uptick in calls about scammers targeting OG&E customers.

It's a scam our In Your Corner team warns you about every six months or so.

Stash owner Rebecca Bean from Norman said it would be crippling to her business if the lights went out.

“Even missing one or two days sales can a total game changer for a small business like mine,” she said.

The other day Stash manager Holly picked up the phone and said hello to a man with a west Texas accent, threatening to turn off their power if they didn't pay their delinquent bill right away!

“They say this is OG&E, and I believe on the caller ID it said OG&E with an 800 number,” Bean said.

The caller was saying something about meter improvements in the area.  

Bean said it seemed believable at the time because they were experiencing some outages in downtown Norman.

“Seemed like a good thing, and he said we split the cost with our customers and you have to pay that by this afternoon or we are cutting off the power,” she said.

The scammer got away with about $400.

OG&E spokesperson Kathleen O'Shea said they're hearing from customers in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“What's happening is these people are being told to go to a Walgreens or another drug store and buy a prepaid card, a Green Dot card, and then come back and call back to a number they are given from this caller,” O’shea said.

Remember, all the scammer needs is the number on the back of the cards to drain them.

They’re also targeting residential customers, mainly the elderly and people who don't speak very good English. 

We didn’t have any luck getting a hold of the guy who scammed Stash.

The In Your Corner bottom line:

  • If you're behind on your bill, you're going to get a series of notifications through the mail.
  • OG&E will not call and ask a customer to pay over the phone right then with a credit card or prepaid debit card.
  • If you are unsure if a call is from OG&E, hang up, look up OG&E's customer service number and call it to verify whether your have a delinquent bill.
  • Ways to pay your OG&E bill

There is a way to pay your bill at an OG&E verified kiosk around town, mostly at 7-Eleven locations and, if you do pay your bill there, you're required to use your card at the machine but never by giving a number over the phone.

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