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Middle Tennessee Electric warns of heat wave phone scam

sunshine nashville
Posted at 7:00 AM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 08:12:21-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — Scammers are taking advantage of homeowners suffering from the heat wave and it's prompted Middle Tennessee Electric to issue a warning for customers to be on the lookout.

It all starts with a phone call from scammers pretending to be from Middle Tennessee Electric saying unless the customer pays immediately with a prepaid gift card, their power will be shut off.

Just hearing the words "shut off" or "disconnected" during the heat wave can send someone into a frenzy. Those that fall victim could possibly be out a good chunk of change because of how high monthly bills are right now.

The power company said scammers specifically target customers during high energy consumption months. Officials warn the hits aren't just happening by phone, they're coming through email and scammers knocking on front doors.

To make sure you don't fall victim know that MTE does not require immediate payment from pre-paid debit or credit cards. That should always be a red flag if it's mentioned. MTE also clarified services will not be disconnected without advance notice of two automated phone calls plus a letter to the home.

If a customer gets a phone call and thinks it could be a scammer, the power company advises customers to hang up then call the power company directly. Even if it was a legitimate call, they want people to be safe rather than a victim of this scam.

MTE serves Williamson, Rutherford and Wilson counties.