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EPB Warns Against Scam Calls Demanding Immediate Payment or Card Details; How to Stay Safe

In the release, EPB said that these calls may appear to come from a 423 area code or even the EPB's main phone number, (423) 648-1372.
PUBLISHED APR 25, 2024
Cover Image Source: Scam callers are impersonating EPB (representative image) | Pexels | Joe Altman
Cover Image Source: Scam callers are impersonating EPB (representative image) | Pexels | Joe Altman

The Electric Power Board (EPB) recently issued warnings against scam calls where scammers are reportedly demanding payment to avoid disconnection of their power supply. In the release, EPB said that these calls may appear to come from a 423 area code or even the EPB's main phone number, (423) 648-1372. EPB says that these scam calls are either demanding payment immediately or saying that the customer is owed a refund and requests their credit card number. If EPB owes a customer a refund, EPB will credit their account or issue a refund check without the need to ask for their credit card information.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-brown-credit-card-and-cellphone-5198284/
Online scams on the rise (representative image) | Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels

This is not the first time that EPB has received reports about scam calls. Back in 2020, EPB issued warnings against robocall scams happening in the Tenessee Valley. At the time, it told the customers that EPB never uses a 1(800) number. It's also important to note that EPB will also never call or leave a message demanding payment. If there is indeed a problem with your bill, customer service will contact you and ask you to give a call at 423-648-1372.

According to EPB Director of Information Security, Steve Morrison, "In these unprecedented times, computer hacking has increased dramatically. Some sources cite up to a 330% increase since COVID-19. These tips can help keep you protected," via The Pulse. One of the primary practices involves keeping your machine free of any malware. For this, one needs to ensure that all their apps and browsers as well as anti-virus/anti-malware software are up to date. Secondly, one should also pay extra attention to their passwords and choose a strong password. Additionally, it's also a great idea to enable two-factor authentication which is also called multi-factor authentication wherever possible.



Users should also be extremely cautious when it comes to clicking on links. It's always a good idea to hover the mouse pointer on the link to see the web address. Also, know that scammers are always trying to create a fake sense of emergency forcing victims into making quick financial decisions. Never fall for statements such as, "You need to sign up, or you will lose money/power will be disconnected/credit card will be discontinued, etc." Hackers will always try to make you panic as that makes their job simpler. Know that no organization will approach you and create a sense of urgency.



Other tips from the EPB director include avoiding unsecured WiFi networks and being weary of seasonal scams such as fake package tracking emails and fake e-cards. It is also advisable to keep a backup of all your data as there are scammers who are known to block access to your data and computer until you pay a ransom to get your files unblocked. Checking credit card statements is also important as more often than not this is the place where you will find the first indicator that your account information or identity has been compromised.

Lastly, it's extremely important to be updated about all the types of scams that are unfortunately prevalent in today's day and age. Learning about scams such as phishing, and all the scams that involve AI and crypto is the only way to know what to embrace and what to avoid.

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