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Hall County authorities warn of utility scam
Bogus caller claims unpaid bills, threatens to cut off power
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Law enforcement and Jackson EMC are warning of new utility scams affecting Hall County residents.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office said the department has taken three reports this past week on scams.

“Most often, the scam call originates from someone who speaks with a foreign accent stating that the (citizen and customer) allegedly has unpaid bills with their service provider,” the sheriff’s office wrote on social media.

The person claiming to be from the power company then will threaten to cut off the power unless they make “an immediate payment with their credit card by phone,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Jackson EMC sent a notice on Jan. 19 of scammers using phone spoofing, where a scammer makes the caller ID look like it’s from the company.

“The more sophisticated scammers have even copied or duplicated your power company’s recorded options to fool you further,” according to a Jackson EMC message.

The sheriff’s office said other versions seen by law enforcement involves an “Obama Stimulus Package,” where the potential victim is offered help with the electric bill “using a special check routing number and their Social Security number.”

“In at least one instance, a person pretending to be a representative of the power company was reportedly wearing a shirt that had ‘Jackson EMC’ on it,” the sheriff’s office said of a potential scammer offering a “free energy audit” at the person’s home.

The sheriff’s office and Jackson EMC advise hanging up on any suspicious calls and calling the number for the power company listed on the utility bill.

Law enforcement advised asking for identification for people coming to the door and not allowing the person inside.

Any scam victims are asked to call the sheriff’s office non-emergency dispatch at 770-536-8812 or the community service unit at 770-533-7659.