APD warns of phone scam

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 15, 2013

A new scam is hitting the telephone wires, officials said. The latest one arrived Thursday with Mobile residents claiming to be the electric company and delivering an ultimatum – pay up or get cut off.

Cathy Alexander with Andalusia Utilities said a local customer reported such an incident to the office.

“She said a man called and said he was with Alabama Power and that her electricity would be cut off if she didn’t make a payment over the phone,” Alexander said. “Thankfully, she did not give that person any of her banking information.

“As a reminder to our customers, Alabama Power does not have services in this area and our customers should call our office at 222-1332 if they have any concerns about the status of their accounts,” she said. “If I remember correctly, this is the second time this year that this scam has run through our area.”

Lt. Paul Dean with the Andalusia Police Department said his office was also contacted about the scam. He explained that the callers are very convincing during their spiel.

“They will call and identify themselves as a local government official,” he said. “Then, he’ll give the name of his supervisor as a ‘Kevin Brooks’ or ‘William.’ This man has an accent, but he identifies himself as working for Alabama Power.”

Dean said the call originates from a 251.744.3669 number.

He said he conducted a follow-up with the person on the other end of the line, but the operator quickly referred him to another number.

“He said, ‘Let me give you the number to my supervisor,’” Dean said. “That number rang at the Mobile Police Department.”

Dean said MPD investigators are now working to locate the source of the scam; however, locals should remain vigilant when dealing with this type of call.

“You should not give out your banking information over the phone, period,” he said.