Entergy warns local businesses about phone payment scam

Scammers posing as Entergy workers are asking for immediate payments on past due bills over the phone.

BEAUMONT - Around 10:30 a.m. yesterday morning, the Courtyard Cafe in Groves got a call from someone claiming to be with Entergy. They asked owner, Karen Theis that a payment was 2 months past due and they threatened to shut off their power.

"So I went and dug up the information, gave them a confirmation number and at that point is when he started insisting that it be paid pretty much over the phone," she explained.

"That's when the light bulb went off that this probably wasn't the real deal," Theis called Entergy later and found out this was a new scam.

Vernon Pierce, Vice President of Customer Service in Entergy Texas says the con artists are asking for businesses to send money through systems such as MoneyPak or Green Dot.

Entergy uses BillMatrix for over the phone payments. Pierce says that the scare tactics will not be used by any Entergy worker.

"They will tell you the status of your account, they will tell you if you owe any money or not. But they will not demand any immediate payment. They'll direct you to one of our pay stations where you can pay on your own," Pierce said.

Theis is relieved she didn't fall for the scam.

"It's just one of those things that catch you off guard. And when you hang up and realize I should've snapped at this point, this point or this point...you don't click to some of the red flags that are coming up in front of you," Theis said she wants to use her experience to make sure no one else gets ripped off.

Entergy allows payments online, over the phone through BillMatrix, at 1-800-584-1241 (BillMatrix charges a $2.95 service fee), walk-in payment centers and by mail.

If a call sounds suspicious, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749).

 

(© 2016 KBMT)


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