GILMER â€” Gilmer police on Friday warned customers in 10 counties served by the locally based UpshurÂ Rural Electric Cooperative against a phone scam in which the caller claims to be a debt collector for the corporation.
The calls have been made from a number bearing a 972 area code, and the caller attempts â€śto gain personal information and banking information from customersâ€ť by pretending to work for a company contracting with Upshur-ÂRural as a debt collector, Gilmer police detective Roxanne Warren said in a news release.
â€śThe caller states that the customerâ€™s payment was not received, and in order to continue their electric service without interruption or disconnection, they must make a payment over the phone by providing a debit card or credit card number,â€ť Mrs. Warren said. â€śAt this time, no customers have reported falling victim to the scam,â€ť which the coÂop reported to police Friday, she said.
The news release quoted a statement released to police by the cooperative in which UpshurÂRural warns customers they â€świll not receive personal calls from UpshurÂRural employees trying to obtain your personal or payment data.â€ť
â€śWe do make courtesy calls for various account status updates, including past due amountsÍľ however, these calls involve an automated recording and do not request personal or account information,â€ť the cooperative said.
Any time coÂop members are transacting business with URECC, they â€ścan choose to make electronic payments over a telephone, but in those cases they would be transferred to a secure payments line and then only at the memberâ€™s request,â€ť the statement said.
Those with questions, or wanting to report suspicious activity, are urged to contact the coÂopâ€™s customer care department at 903-843Â2536 or 800-259Â2536.
UpshurÂ-Rural has more than 44,000 connected meters in 10 northeast Texas counties: Upshur, Camp, Cass, Gregg, Harrison, Marion, Morris, Rusk, Smith and Wood.