Columbus police warns of Duke Energy scam

Published 1:30 pm Thursday, September 1, 2016


By Leah Justice

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The Columbus Police Department is warning local residents of a scam going on in the area in the last few days.

People are receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be Duke Energy and demanding immediate payment to prevent their power being turned off, according to Columbus Police Chief Chris Beddingfield. One local victim got scammed out of $500, Beddingfield said.

Beddingfield said his department asks any residents who receive phone calls to not make a payment. Residents are urged to call Duke Energy and verify if a payment needs to be made.

Duke Energy has a public announcement regarding the scam, which Duke says is one of the most common scams.

Duke Energy says a caller may pretend to be from Duke Energy and the caller identification on the phone may also say “Duke Energy.”

The caller will threaten to turn off the power to your home or business within an hour, according to Duke Energy, and demand an immediate payment by a prepaid debit card.

Duke Energy instructs the public, if such a call is made, for the customer to hang up, call the police and call Duke Energy at the phone number on the power bill.

“Do not pay over the phone or call any number given to you by the scammer,” Duke Energy says.

Beddingfield also says residents may contact the Columbus Police Department with any questions at 828-894-5464.


We have had this occur several times here in town during the last couple of days.  We have one victim out $500.  We have put it on our facebook page and issued a code red alert but is their anyway you guys could run an alert for us?  Basically people are receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be duke power and demanding immediate payment to prevent power from being turned off.  We are asking that citizens that receive calls not to make payment but to call duke direct and verify if a payment needs to be made.  As always they can contact the police department with any questions.