Duke Energy announces multi-market radio campaign to warn customers of ongoing utility payment scam

Duke Energy announces multi-market radio campaign to warn customers of ongoing
                             utility payment scam

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 19, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy today launched a
radio campaign to educate the public about an ongoing payment scam, and what
customers should do if targeted.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130322/CL81938LOGO )

The educational messages will air in English across all six Duke Energy
service areas, and also in Spanish in the Carolinas and Florida.

"Duke Energy is using as many channels as possible to educate customers about
this scam," said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president and chief
customer officer. "We urge customers who are contacted by individuals
claiming to represent Duke Energy to listen for red flags, and hang up
immediately if fraud is suspected."

Lanier said the primary red flag used by these criminals is the insistence
that customers pay with a prepaid debit card.

Here is how the scam works:

A customer receives an unsolicited phone call from an individual who falsely
claims to be a Duke Energy representative. The scammer warns that Duke Energy
will disconnect the customer's electric service if the customer fails to make
an immediate payment – usually within one hour.

The thief instructs the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card – widely
available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a
payment to Duke Energy. The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid debit
card's receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the
card's funds.

Some of these criminals have recently adopted new tactics, using caller ID
spoofing to replicate Duke Energy's customer service number, or falsely
claiming to be with a third party collection agency representing Duke Energy.

They can also become aggressive when questioned about the legitimacy of their
calls, and some specifically target Spanish-speaking customers, restaurants
and other small businesses.

Important reminders for Duke Energy customers:

In reality, Duke Energy never asks or requires customers who have delinquent
accounts to purchase a prepaid debit card to avoid electric service
disconnection. Customers can make payments online, by phone, automatic bank
draft, mail or in person.

Duke Energy customers who have delinquent accounts also receive notifications
from the company over the course of several weeks prior to electric service
disconnection – never just a single notification one hour before
disconnection.

The company urges customers who suspect or experience fraud, or feel
threatened during contact with one of these thieves, to hang up and call local
police, then Duke Energy at one of the numbers below to report the call:

Ohio/Kentucky customers – 800-544-6900

Indiana customers – 800-521-2232

North Carolina/South Carolina customers (Duke Energy) – 800-777-9898

North Carolina/South Carolina customers (Duke Energy Progress) – 800-452-2777

Florida customers – 800-700-8744

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded
on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about
the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.

Contact: Kristina Hill
Office: 980.373.2596 | 24-Hour: 800.559.3853

SOURCE Duke Energy

Website: http://www.duke-energy.com
 
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