1/31/2019
Utility Scammers Active in Longview Area

SHREVEPORT, La., Jan. 31, 2019 – Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) has received multiple reports that involve criminals posing as SWEPCO representatives calling customers and demanding immediate payment.

“These scammers are targeting vulnerable groups of people, including seniors, non-native English speakers, and small business owners,” said Karen Wissing, SWEPCO spokeswoman.

Scammers are:

  • Criminals impersonating SWEPCO employees over the phone.
  • Telling SWEPCO customers in the Longview area that the utility is changing its name.
  • Demanding SWEPCO customers immediately buy a prepaid debit card to pay their December balance.
  • Threatening to disconnect electric service if immediate payment is not received.

SWEPCO does not:

  • Call customers demanding immediate payment
  • Ask customers to purchase a debit/cash card to pay a bill

“If you believe a scammer has contacted you, hang up immediately,” Wissing said. “You can verify the status of your account by logging into SWEPCO.com or SWEPCO’s mobile app, or by calling us directly at 1-888-216-3523.”

Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer, or any other form of payment that may be difficult to trace, Wissing said.

Customers may take several steps to keep themselves safe from scammers, including:

  • Ignoring suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security numbers.
  • Deleting any emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
  • Deleting all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.

About Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO)

SWEPCO, an American Electric Power (AEP: NYSE) company, serves 535,000 customers in western Arkansas, northwest and central Louisiana, northeast Texas and the Texas Panhandle. SWEPCO’s headquarters are in Shreveport, La. News releases and other information about SWEPCO can be found at SWEPCO.com.

About American Electric Power (AEP)

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, East Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

 

SWEPCO Corporate Communications
Karen Wissing (318-272-2984)