11/14/2016
Appalachian Power ramps up efforts to protect customers from scammers

CHARLESTON, W.Va., November 14, 2016 – Appalachian Power is joining forces with more than 20 gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada to protect customers from long-running scams.
 

These utilities have designated November 16th as “Utilities United Against Scams Day.”

Appalachian and other utilities are exposing the tricks scammers use to steal money from customers.

“Scammers are targeting local businesses, senior citizens and customers whose native language is not English,” said Jeri Matheney, Appalachian director of communications. “We’re sharing this information so customers can protect themselves from this fraudulent activity.”

“Appalachian employees will never demand immediate payment, insist a payment be made with a prepaid credit card or ask a customer to meet us in a parking lot to make a payment,” Matheney said.

Thieves are calling Appalachian customers and:

 

  • Threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made;
  • Telling customers they need a new electric meter, but must make a payment before the new meter is installed;
  • Offering a discount on their Appalachian bill if they sign up for auto-pay;
  • Demanding a deposit is paid immediately.

More Red flags for scam activity

  • The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to Appalachian Power.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.
  • The scammers are calling from numbers that names Appalachian on the Caller ID. And they have a telephone recording that sounds like Appalachian’s phone system message.


How to protect yourself

  • Call Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237 to verify your account balance and date your payment is due.
  • Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank draft, mail or in person.
  • Appalachian will notify customers by mail that their account is past due and their electric service will be disconnected – never a single notification one hour before disconnection. If you suspect someone is trying to scam you, hang up and call the local police and then Appalachian Power. Never dial the phone number the scammers provide.

Customers, who suspect or experience fraud, or feel threatened during contact with one of these thieves, should contact local authorities, and then Appalachian Power at 1-800-956-4237.

On average, more than 90 percent of customers who receive a call and report it to Appalachian indicate they did not fall for the scam. In the initial stages of the scam activity, it is estimated that at least 50 percent of customers contacted were tricked.

Appalachian continues to education customers about scams through messages on their electric bills, on AppalachianPower.com, through social media and public service announcements.

Appalachian is working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute scammers.

For more information visit AppalachianPower.com/Account/Bills/Scams/ or follow Appalachian on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more.

Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 223,000 miles of distribution lines.  AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S.

Phil Moye
Corporate Communications - WV
Office: 304-348-4188
Cell: 304-550-0568
pamoye@AEP.com

Teresa Hamilton Hall
Corporate Communications - Va.
Office: 540-985-2497
Cell: 540-266-8580
tahall@AEP.com

More From APCO

Take Charge

Save Money & Energy - Now & Later

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn more

Download our app

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)

Scope

This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com and the Appalachian Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.apco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com or the Appalachian Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.

Consent

By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to Appalachian Power’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to Appalachian Power (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for Appalachian Power);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.

Security

Appalachian Power takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from Appalachian Power may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

Appalachian Power reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to APCO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...

×