ATLANTA - Georgia Power is warning people of an increase in scam calls from people pretending to be with the company.
Chelsey Shaw, a business owner in Gwinnett County, says she received a call from someone who claimed to be with Georgia Power.
"When they called and told me that I had missed a payment, my first thought was not oh, this has to be a scam. My first thought was I've been so stressed out, I can't believe I missed this," Shaw said.
Between dealing with the pandemic and a business that had to temporarily close because of it, Shaw says she thought she forgot to pay her bill.
However, a few minutes into the phone call with a so-called employee of the company, she noticed something wasn't quite right.
"They didn't ask me any verification questions. They were inconsistent because they started the call saying my power would be disconnected and then they switched it to it would be in a couple of hours," Shaw said.
She says the man gave her a number to call. She immediately called Georgia Power and learned the call was a scam.
Shaw decided to give that number a call and was surprised by what she heard.
"When you call Georgia Power, it immediately welcomes you. It gives you a recording. When you call the number, it gives that exact recording. but it skips every other prompt after press 1," she said.
Unfortunately, Georgia Power says it has recently seen an increase in the number of scam calls.
"We're finding that scammers are getting smarter and smarter with the type of technology they're using. We have seen an uptick in scammers using, creating 800 numbers to make it look like it's our customer service line," said Allison Gregoire, a spokesperson with Georgia Power.
Gregorie says if someone asks you to pay up or face being disconnected immediately, it's a scam.
"We're never going to call you up and force you to give us money. We're never going to force you to pay with a credit card, a debit card, via Venmo or bitcoin. The only place you're going to pay is your online account of via our authorized payment locations. If you do have an issue with your bill or you are past due, you're either going to get a prerecorded message from GA power asking you to contact us or a letter in the mail," Gregorie said.
A call from Georgia Power will always come from the number 888-660-5890.
If you do get a scam call, make sure you report it to the company so it can keep track.