Scam alert

Scammers are at it once again, using various techniques to attempt to scam Coast Electric members out of their money. Members have reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to be employees of Coast Electric and demanding payment. Sometimes the scammers say members have a past-due bill or owe money for a service, and other times, they are telling members they would like to pay them for their participation in a survey, if the member agrees to give the caller their Social Security number.

How to identify a call as a scam:

• Coast Electric DOES NOT call members if they have late payments.
• If payments are late, Coast Electric may contact members in the following ways:
– A notification may be printed on members’ bills.
– Members may receive a text, automated phone call and/or email if they are signed up for alerts and reminders. These notifications are simply to inform members of a late payment, not to ask for payment. Members will never receive a call from a Coast Electric employee asking for payment.
• A collector will visit the member’s home.
• Coast Electric will not demand members pay a certain way. It is the member’s choice if they would like to pay with a debit or credit card, with cash, money order, etc. Coast Electric accepts all valid forms of payment.
• Coast Electric will accept payments online, on its CE on the Go mobile app, over the phone or in one of their offices. If a caller tells a member they must pay over the phone, it is a scam.

What should you do if you receive a scam call? 
• Hang up. If you are able to write down the number the call came from or any information about the call, do so, but do not risk sharing your information.
• DO NOT give the callers any personal or financial information.
• Call local authorities and report what happened.
• Call Coast Electric at 877-769-2372 to report the scam.

Coast Electric does want to inform its members that beginning Nov. 7, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) will be conducting a member satisfaction survey on behalf of Coast Electric. Coast Electric conducts surveys each year to gauge members’ opinions and improve service. A random selection of Coast Electric’s residential members will receive either phone calls or emails asking them to participate in this important research project. Unfortunately, some scammers have recently called members saying they are conducting a survey and asking people for Social Security numbers or other personal information.

NRECA representatives will: 
• Ask members their thoughts and opinions about various aspects of Coast Electric’s service.

NRECA representatives will NOT: 
• Ask for your Social Security number or for any financial information.
• Ask anyone to purchase anything.
• Provide or sell your information to any outside party.
Coast Electric urges consumers to keep their financial and personal information protected. Hang up if you have doubts about a call and report the call to authorities and Coast Electric employees.

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