January 20, 2023
Washington Electric Cooperative, Inc.
PO Box 8
40 Church Street
East Montpelier, VT 05651
Contact: Susan Golden – 802-223-5245 (toll free: 1-800-932-5245) / email@example.com
East Montpelier, Vt – At least one member of Washington Electric Cooperative (WEC) has received a telephone call from someone fraudulently representing themselves as a representative of an unnamed utility. The message stated that if the member had not been delinquent in the past three (3) months, they might be able to receive a 20% reduction on their next bill. The call also prompted the recipient to press ‘1’ to verify their eligibility. If you receive any call that you are suspicious of or believe is a scam, here are some tips:
- Do not provide personal or financial information if you have any doubts about the identity of the caller.
- Do not engage—you can always just hang up.
- Do not call the scammer back, but instead call the entity they are claiming to represent on a telephone number you know is the correct one.
- Contact WEC directly to report the scam, as well as the phone number and any other information about the call you have, or call the Vermont Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit.
At this time, WEC does not offer discounted rates based on payment history. WEC does contact members by phone between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. if they are at risk of disconnection the next day, but we do not require immediate payment. WEC offers many options for how the payment can be made to the utility, but we will not force a member to pay immediately by credit card.
If we call you and you have any questions on the legitimacy of the call, hang up and call WEC back at the main office number at 802-223-5245 or toll free: 1-800-932-5245. That way, you are calling WEC and can be assured you are not the victim of a scam. Phone calls after 4 p.m. go to our answering service, so we recommend that you call as soon as possible after 7:30 a.m. the following morning if you have reason to believe that your power is at risk of being disconnected. Also, please be aware that disconnections only occur between 8:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.
Don’t fall for high-pressure tactics, including threats that you’re about to be disconnected for not paying your bill. Most importantly, don’t get taken in – don’t provide any cash, credit card, debit card or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone unless you are certain of the caller’s authenticity.
To verify anyone claiming to be a representative of Washington Electric Co-op and requesting credit card information, members should call the utility at 802-223-5245 or toll free: 1-800-932-5245.