Identity theft can occur to anyone, from an infant to an individual who has passed. Each day thieves look for opportunities to use the identity of others for their own needs. That’s why Pioneer Electric is committed to combating scammers as best as we can. However, catching a scammer is easier said than done. It takes teamwork between the cooperative and members to ensure that no one falls for their tricks.
A common scam is targeting cooperative members and demanding payment through a credit card or money transfer. The scammer calls the member, threatens to shut off their electricity due to late payment and then demands payment in a specific method. These types of calls can occur throughout the day and even outside of Pioneer business hours. If you ever receive a strange call, don’t be afraid to report it to your local police and to Pioneer Electric. By having an idea of who the scammers are targeting, what they are demanding and how they are asking for it helps us ensure that we properly alert other members.
Additionally, a thief may try to compromise your identity. NEVER disclose any type of personal information unless you’ve initiated the call with a reputable number. Even innocent sounding questions can allow a scammer to gain enough information to cause serious damage. A thief may take money from your account, make purchases with your credit/debit card, take out a loan or open accounts under your name, usually without your knowledge. Once the theft occurs, it is a long, difficult and potentially expensive road to recovery.
Your safety and security are important to Pioneer Electric. We work hard to ensure that our members are educated of all scam attempts reported by our members. However, it comes down to you to safeguard your information. By taking an extra effort to be cautious you can help ensure that your identity remains safe. Here are some helpful tips to keep your information out of the hands of others:
- Report lost, stolen or compromised credit or debit cards to the issuers immediately.
- Only use payment options outlined by utilities or companies that you hold service with.
- If you are unsure of the legitimacy of a call, hang up and look for a direct contact number of the utility or service provider.
- Don’t give out personal information (such as credit card numbers, addresses, account numbers, social security information or banking information) over the phone, unless you have initiated the phone call to a trusted company.
- Be skeptical of “special promotions” or “deals” offered by callers. If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Monitor the amount of money in your savings and checking accounts. Many banks have access to mobile banking, text alerts and other tools to help keep a watch on your money.
- If you ever have questions regarding the well-being of your Pioneer Electric membership, don’t hesitate to reach out and contact Pioneer Electric.