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2013-07-11

BEC again targeted by fraudulent calls

Contributed

A scam that first made its way to Bandera Electric in 2009, and has been affecting nearby cooperatives ever since, has again surfaced in the BEC service area.

Scammers trick consumers into making payments with credit cards and prepaid money cards, such as MoneyPak cards that can be bought at Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS/Pharmacy.

The most recent known fraudulent account in the BEC service area occurred Friday, July 5, in which the individuals called a BEC member and told the member that if immediate payment was not received, their power would be disconnected. The member was called twice by two separate people.

The scammer in this instance used a 254 area code, however, according to other cooperatives, scammers have used out of state area codes and other Texas area codes, particularly 512.

Bandera Electric encourages its members to be aware of their due dates and possible delinquency. Being mindful of account information can help to protect members from scammers. Also, BEC provides courtesy calls to notify members of delinquencies. In such case, members will receive an automated call with an option to make payment. If calls seem suspicious, members are urged not to make a payment, but to contact Bandera Electric and ask about their account status.

Leslie Kramer, finance and administration manager said, "If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a BEC representative, gather as much information as possible from the caller. We are working with local law enforcement agencies and any information you can provide may help us stop the fraudulent activities that are occurring across Central Texas."

Members who have been contacted by a fraudulent person or agency should call BEC representatives at 866-226-3372, between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday or the Bandera County Sheriff's Office at 830-796-3771.