Local Lumber Company Faces Electric Bill Scam

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ALMA (KFSM) -- An electric bill scam is making its way around our area and has targeted a lumber company.

Management with Meadors Lumber Company said bills are paid the day they come in the mail, but Wednesday (April 11) morning, manager, Ashton Dyer received a phone call about the business's electric bill from who she thought was Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E).

"When I answered, it was a gentleman that said he was with OG&E, gave me his name and an employee number and wanted to talk to the person who was in charge of the bill," Dyer said. "I informed him that that`s me and he said I was calling to let you know we`re going to be shutting your electric off for non-payment."

Employees said this isn't the first time a scammer has called, but this time, he demanded money or else the electricity to the 10,000 square foot store would be turned off.

"We have three stores and our server is here and if for some reason, the electricity was to go off, that would affect all three of our stores," Dyer said. "We wouldn`t be able to process credit cards, our stores at the other two locations wouldn`t be able to access inventory. There`s a lot of things that that would affect."

OG&E said they've seen scams like this before. It's even on the homepage of the company's website and they want customers to know there are several scams like this out there.

OG&E released this statement to 5NEWS:

"If someone calls you claiming to be an OG&E employee and asks for money, this is an immediate 'red flag' that it may be a scam. We will not ask you for your bank information or a credit card number over the phone, nor will we ask you to settle a bill using cash or prepaid debit cards."

Now Dyer said she's hoping to share her story so this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"I know that there`s people who fall for these kinds of things all the time and I just don`t want someone to get scammed out of money," Dyer said. "I hate a thief. There`s nothing worse."

Those with OG&E said scammers are now even using software that allows them to show the OG&E name on your called ID.

The company suggests logging on to your online account or calling the number on your electric bill to verify any issues with your bill.

To find more tips on OG&E's website to avoid scams like this, click here.

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