Stop Scams

Don’t get tricked. People around the country have been receiving emails and phone calls from scammers. SMECO wants to help you keep your hard-earned money and prevent scams. Review the helpful tips in the tabs below, or download our Guide to Spotting Scams (PDF).

Scammers Can Target Anyone

  • People who speak English as a second language
  • The Elderly
  • Businesses
    • Businesses usually have higher monthly bills – Scammers will claim the business customer owes a higher amount than a residential customer owes
    • Scammers exploit the lack of communication between employees and business owners

Common Tricks of Scammers

  • Threatening to cut off service immediately or within a couple of hours
  • Making SMECO’s name appear on a customer’s caller ID
  • Duplicating voice recordings and imitating utility phone systems

Tips to Stay Safe

If you receive a phone call from someone threatening to disconnect your power, hang up. If you want to verify account information, you can call SMECO directly at (888) 440-3311.

  • Know how much you owe on your bill
  • Know when payments are due
  • Use the phone number printed on your monthly bill; if you use the phone number an unknown caller provides, it could be a fake
  • Only give payment information over the phone if you initiate the contact
  • Do not provide personal, financial, or account information to unauthorized callers
  • Do not provide Green Dot, Western Union, or Moneygram payments to unauthorized callers
  • Never agree to meet a caller at a local store or bank to make a payment – your safety could be at risk
  • If you want to make sure your SMECO payment was processed, check your bank account or credit card statement

Know SMECO’s Procedures

Electric utilities follow state regulations and have set schedules for billing and payment.

  • SMECO will mail a termination notice if a bill is past due.
  • SMECO calls customers who owe a past due balance using an automated phone system with a recorded message; rarely will SMECO employees make personal “collection” phone calls.
  • Collection calls are made about 10 days before service is to be terminated. SMECO does not require payment at the time of the call.
  • SMECO does not make collection calls or terminate service on weekends or holidays.
  • If service is going to be terminated, a SMECO collector will knock on the customer’s door before turning off service.
  • SMECO collectors will accept credit card payments, checks, or money orders, but they do not accept cash and would never require a Green Dot or pre-paid debit card.

Because SMECO does initiate automated collection calls and customers can choose to make a payment over the phone, some phone calls are legitimate, but you should never provide your account number to unauthorized callers.

There are a number of ways you can pay your SMECO bill and help prevent scammers from victimizing you.

  • Use budget billing to pay the same amount every month.
  • Use AutoPay to have payments made automatically with a credit card or checking account.
  • Go online and make weekly payments if that helps with your personal budget.

SMECO wants to make it easy for customers to do business with us. We offer a variety of payment methods that are free and convenient.