Periodically, and especially during the summer bill season, scam artists attempt to prey on Entergy Arkansas, Inc. customers. Entergy Arkansas would like to protect its customers, to the extent possible, from being victims, and offers the following.
The latest scam reported goes like this: Someone claiming to represent a third-party bill-payment-assistance agency approaches a customer and claims they’ll help the customer pay a portion of their electric bill. But the customer must pay a portion, as well. The perpetrator claims the “agency” will send in the total amount due to the utility company.[more]
After the suspect gets the customer’s money, he/she may even call in a payment through Bill Matrix, which is a legitimate third party that customers can use to pay bills electronically. But the transaction is fraudulent, the customer’s bill remains unpaid, and the amount the customer gave to the scam artist is gone.
“We are disheartened, disturbed and downright angry whenever we hear of someone trying to con our customers out of their hard-earned money, and we are eager to help the authorities in any way we can to catch and convict the individuals who run these scams,” said Jim Garland, customer service manager for Entergy Arkansas in Saline County. Entergy Arkansas would like for its customers to keep the following in mind:
• If you are the victim of a con artist, contact your local police. Entergy Arkansas will work with the police and other authorities to help them arrest and convict the perpetrator.
• If you are approached by someone offering to help you pay your bills, be suspicious. Legitimate assistance organizations rarely solicit opportunities to give away money. There are plenty of needy people coming to them for assistance.
• Entergy offers customers three ways to pay their electric bill:
o Mailing in the payment directly to Entergy
o Direct payment at one of our authorized “Quick-Pay” centers
o Automatic bank draft
• Entergy employees do not go door-to-door collecting money from customers at home.
• Entergy employees do not do “energy checks.”
• Entergy representatives travel in marked Entergy vehicles and wear clothing that associates them with the company.
• Company employees carry photo identification cards. Ask for these cards or call 1-800-ENTERGY.
• Do not let the person into your home! Call the police or sheriff’s department immediately and then contact Entergy.
• Can’t pay your bill? Call us. If your electric bill is more than you can afford, Entergy Arkansas offers several optional payment arrangements to qualifying customers, including delaying due dates and establishing agreements for paying bills over time.
Entergy Arkansas, Inc. provides electricity to 687,000 customers in 63 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.7 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.