Another Scam Involves Utility Customers

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Published on February 7 2014 7:55 pm
Last Updated on February 7 2014 7:55 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A nationwide email scam is targeting utility customers, including electric cooperative members, by sending bogus invoices directing them to a virus-infected site.

No co-op members appear to have been infected, but several Illinois electric distribution cooperatives have reported receiving calls from members who received such an email.

The fraudulent billing measure tells members their bill is ready and provides a hyperlink to view it.  DO NOT CLICK ON THE HYPERLINK.

Reports say the link takes the person to a site that infects their device with malware.  The malware could go after banking information or attempt to steal usernames or passwords.

"We have many members who pay their bill online and they do receive an email from us saying their bill is ready, but our hyperlink takes them to their login screen," said Kevin Bernson, spokesperson for Shelby Electric Cooperative.  "We would encourage anyone who receives an email from someone they don't know, or suspect to being a scam, to delete immediately and to not click on any links or downloads," added Bernson.

Shelby Electric Cooperative advises members to ignore suspicious requests for personal information, such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and usernames and passwords.  SEC also advises members to delete those emails and call the co-op to report the suspicious activity.