Phone scammers target Entergy customers
BATON ROUGE - Officials say an old phone scam has reemerged, and Entergy customers are the new targets.
Myron Goldberg, who owns a clothing store in New Orleans, says he’s already been a target. Goldberg reported that his wife received a frightening phone call from someone claiming to represent Entergy who said a truck was en route to disconnect their business’ power. Knowing he’d already paid the bill, Goldberg said he called the number his wife gave him to find out what was up.
"They answered as Entergy, talked to this gentleman, and he was very professional," Goldberg said to WWL-TV in New Orleans. "After getting my blood pressure up, I tried to say you can't send a truck over here, you can't do that.”
Goldberg said the caller wanted $1,400 in cash. When he realized he was being set up for a scam, Goldberg said he hung up.
"They had me going pretty good, until he said those magic four letter word, cash," Goldberg recalled. "It took me a while to cool down. I was pretty angry.”
Entergy representatives say they’ve heard about the attack from their customers.
"We hate for that to happen to our customers, because we care about our customers, and we don't want them to fall victim to this scam," said Entergy's Toni Green-Brown.
Perpetrators of the scam are targeting customers of utility companies across the country, including Entergy. Experts say the best thing to do when you think you’re becoming the target of a scam is to keep and your head and avoid panicking. Scammers frequently take advantage of the fact that they can catch potential victims off guard and get them to react by sending money before they realize they’ve been had.
"It is a scam, and we encourage customers to hang up the phone as soon as they identify it as a suspicious call," said Green-Brown. "We will not call people and insist on immediate payment or we're coming out to disconnect.”
Entergy said this particular scheme has mostly been leveled at businesses, so it’s important that employers make their employees alert.
"Just be very careful, listen very well to what they're saying," Goldberg said.
Also, Entergy reminds people about the ways they can safely pay. They remind customers that they never demand any of their customers go to buy prepaid debit cards in order to make a payment.