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
- 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
Billing & Termination 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.