NES warning customers about prepaid card scam - KCTV5 News

NES warning customers about prepaid card scam

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Maria Osorio works long, hard hours as a housekeeper at the Fellowship at Two Rivers to provide for her family and always manages to pay her bills on time.

But a man claiming to be with Nashville Electric Service called her last week saying she was several months behind on her bill.

"They give me 30 minutes, if I don't pay the $300, they're gonna cut my electric," she said.

The man on the other end told Osorio to buy a prepaid money card from Walgreens and give him the PIN.

"After I give them the PIN number from the card, they said, don't worry, your bill is OK now," she said.

And he was right because Osorio's account was never behind in the first place.

"I said, 'It's a scam, it's a scam!'" said her co-worker, Wayne Sharp.

Sharp's warning came too late for Osorio. By the time he heard what happened, she'd already paid the money.

"She was pretty devastated when I called and told her," he said.

Laurie Parker, a spokeswoman for NES, says utility customers are easy targets.

"When you're getting a phone call threatening that your power is going to be turned off and you need to make a payment, that's a real emotional decision. And of course, you're going to do whatever it takes to try to make sure your power stays on," she said.

Parker said NES never calls customers to tell them they're going to be disconnected or to demand a payment. Anyone who receives one of these calls is asked to hang up immediately and notify NES.

It's an expensive lesson that Osorio learned too late.

"That's not right what they did, especially when you have to take care of your house, you have to pay your bills, you have to take care of your family," she said.

NES says if customers are having trouble paying bills to let them know because they may be able to work out a payment plan.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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