We won't call to threaten disconnection
Scammers are calling customers and impersonating utility company staff, claiming to be collecting on late bills. In many cases, they falsify their caller ID information to make it appear as though the call is coming from Duke Energy. In some instances, where pre-recorded messages ask customers to call back for more information, the upfront message will actually mimic the utility’s interactive voice response system.
The caller attempts to obtain customer account or personal information. They may threaten immediate service disconnection – usually within an hour – if immediate payment is not made with a prepaid debit card. We will never threaten disconnection.
Because we do occasionally contact our customers by phone, it can be difficult to tell a scammer from a real Duke Energy employee. Here are some tips:
- If it’s a pre-recorded voice, often referred to as a robocall, be extra cautious. Do not provide any personal data. The pre-recorded calls Duke Energy deploys are informative in nature and will not request personal information.
- If we do call you to discuss your account, we will provide information that only you and Duke Energy would know in order to validate that our call is legitimate.
- Scammers may instruct you to make payments via prepaid cards, digital payment apps, cryptocurrencies or direct transactions with banking institutions. Duke Energy does not accept payments through the Cash App, Venmo or Zelle apps. Customers can make payments directly via Duke Energy’s mobile app.
- Remember: Debit cards are like cash and the transactions cannot be reversed.
- If you feel pressured for immediate payment or personal information, hang up the phone and call us at the number on your Duke Energy bill. This will ensure you are speaking to a Duke Energy representative.
Beware when clicking links in emails and texts
- Scammers are more frequently setting up fake webpages that show up in internet searches to trick you into giving up your personal information or pay your bill. They are also using QR codes that falsely claim to link to a utility payment page.
- Duke Energy customers have reported receiving statements via email that claim their "energy bill" is due or past due.
- These types of emails, known as phishing, instruct customers to click on a link to pay their bill. Clicking on the link could result in downloading a virus onto the recipient’s computer or theft of personal information.
- Customers should avoid clicking links or downloading attachments from businesses or individuals they do not know, and they should contact Duke Energy directly to discuss their account.
Check claims before giving up information
Scammers calling, texting or emailing customers promising to mail refund checks for overpayments on their accounts if they can confirm their personal data, including birthdays and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.
Generally, Duke Energy will apply refunds as a credit to customers’ accounts and will not contact customers to verify personal information by phone, email or in person in order to mail a check.
Check ID - Think before allowing them in
When someone comes to your home or business, think before you allow them in and keep the following in mind:
- Imposters posing as utility employees may knock on your door claiming to be employed or hired by Duke Energy to repair or inspect your meter or other utility-related equipment. They may also claim that there is a charge for the service, and if you don’t pay, they will come back to remove your meter later.
- Always ask for identification. Duke Energy employees should have an official employee ID badge. If you’re still in doubt, contact our customer care center to confirm the employee’s name, photo and number on the ID badge are legitimate.
- In some instances, representatives from private companies may be working on behalf of Duke Energy. If they do not have an official identification card, ask for their name and the reason for their visit. Then contact Duke Energy to verify the information.
- Scam artists claiming to be Duke Energy employees are telling customers they have the ability to wipe out entire account balances – for a cash fee. Please know that no one from Duke Energy will ever offer to pay your bill in exchange for a fee. Here are valid ways to pay your bill for your home and for your business.
- Call the police immediately if you believe the person is an impostor. If you feel you are in physical danger, call 911.