Entergy taking protective steps against scammers
Entergy’s Customer Service Centers are receiving numerous inquiries from customers concerning a scam that claims the president of the United States is allowing credits or applying payments to customers’ utility bills.
The scams have occurred in Louisiana, but customer accounts in Texas have been affected. The company has taken action to protect those customers, interrupt the scammers’ processes and limit the spread to others.
“Scammers have visited customers in person, posted fliers and used social media and texting to send messages that the president will provide a credit or directly pay their utility bill,” said Vernon Pierce, customer service director, Entergy Texas, Inc. “Scammers try to get our customers to reveal personal information that could be harmful.”
The scam calls for customers to make a payment “today” by using a bank routing number supplied by the scammers, and the number appearing on the back of their Social Security cards as the bank account number.
Payments made by Entergy Texas customers using the scammers’ method will not process correctly and the money will not be applied to their bills. Customers will still owe the amount shown on their bills for the utility services they have used.
“It is unfortunate that unscrupulous persons would plan such an activity that could harm our customers. But we are watching out for their welfare and have taken action to protect them from this scam,” said Pierce.
Customers that already used or are trying to use this bogus payment method could still be affected. But company representatives are identifying accounts where payments have been made using the scammers’ method, and are calling customers to notify them that balances are still due. Those accounts will be corrected to remove the effects of the scam.
“We remind customers to not give their personal information to strangers,” said Pierce, “and they should not try to use this bogus payment method by substituting another account or bank routing number.
Customers should use only authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills:
o Pay online – myAccount. For no additional charge, conveniently pay your bill online by electronic check. Log in securely to myAccount to view and pay your bills.
o Pay by phone– Pay your bill by credit card, debit card or electronic check by calling 1-800-584-1241. BillMatrix, our pay-by-phone provider, will charge a $2.95 service fee.
o Pay by credit/debit card –Pay your bill with a credit card, debit card or electronic check by phone (1-800-584-1241) or through the BillMatrix website, for a $2.95 service fee.
o Walk-in payment centers – Pay your bill in person with cash, check or money order at one of the authorized Quick Payment Centers in your community. A convenience fee may apply.
o Auto pay bank draft – Avoid late fees. Automatically deduct your bill payment from your checking account each month. We’ll mail a monthly billing statement to you for your records, showing the bill amount and bank draft date.
o Pay by mail– Send check by U.S. Mail to the remittance address shown on your bill.
o Paper FREE– Get an email each month with your bill amount and due date. Pay by any method you wish: online at myAccount, in person, by mail, or with credit/debit card online or by phone through BillMatrix.
Customers who believe they are a victim of this scam can notify the proper authorities, such as the local police, the state attorney general’s office, the Better Business Bureau or other agencies. If they believe their Entergy Texas account has been affected, they should call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with a customer service representative.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 400,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, and it is the second-largest nuclear generator in the United States. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.