Pedernales Electric Cooperative members have been targeted by phone and email in a scam in which a person falsely posing as a PEC employee threatened to disconnect service if an immediate payment was not made. Victims of the fraud were instructed to purchase a prepaid debit card and then call back to provide the card number.
Reports of similar scams have been made to the Better Business Bureau and utilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, including surrounding area of Central Texas. PEC has reported all known occurrences within its service area to local law enforcement and would like to provide the following reminders to help members protect themselves:
PEC uses an automated system to make recorded courtesy calls regarding past due balances. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be a PEC employee, verify the call by contacting PEC toll-free at 1-888-554-4732, the phone number printed on your bill. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
PEC employees will never ask you to purchase a prepaid debit card.
PEC submits aged delinquent balances to MPB Credit Bureau, which contacts PEC members by phone to collect payment. PEC attempts to notify members by mail before a balance is turned over, and once that occurs, payment must be made directly to MPB. Verify calls from MPB by calling the collection bureau directly at 1-800-550-7902.
PEC employees work in the field to collect payments, but they will never accept cash. All PEC employees carry photo identification badges, and many travel in company vehicles and wear PEC uniform shirts. If you are approached by someone claiming to work for PEC, ask to see identification or call the Cooperative’s toll-free number to verify their identity.
To check an account balance or make payment, PEC members can call the Co-op toll-free at 1-888-554-4732 or log in online securely at www.pec.coop. Payments by check, debit card, Visa or MasterCard are accepted. There is no additional charge for these services. Members can also mail payment or stop by any of the Co-op’s office locations.
If you receive an email from PEC regarding a balance due, you can verify it by logging into your account online at www.pec.coop, emailing the Cooperative through the Contact Us link on that website or by calling PEC at the toll-free number printed on your bill.
Anyone who has information about this scam or thinks they have been a victim should contact their local law enforcement agency. More information about PEC payment options is available at www.pec.coop.