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Sep 7, 2020

Cleco reminds customers to beware of scams during Hurricane Laura restoration 4 p.m. update

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PINEVILLE, La. – Sept. 7, 2020 – As of 4 p.m., Cleco had restored power to 93 percent, or 130,432, of the 140,000 customers affected by Hurricane Laura. 

“We have received reports from customers of fraudulent phone calls which is not unusual when there’s a natural disaster like Hurricane Laura,” said James Lass, director of distribution operations and emergency management.  “Scammers use unprecedented events to prey on us when we’re preoccupied.  As we continue to restore power, we’re reminding customers to be on alert for fraudulent phone calls, text messages and emails, as well as in-person scammers posing as Cleco representatives.”

Cleco will never initiate calls to demand immediate payment, and customer service representatives will never ask customers to pay with a pre-paid card. 

Customers should be aware of these common utility scams:

  • Disconnection Deception
    Scammers call threatening disconnection of your service unless you make an immediate payment with a pre-paid card.
  • Overpayment Tactic
    Scammers call claiming you overpaid your bill, and you need to provide your personal bank account information or a credit card number to facilitate a refund.
  • Vacate Your Home
    Scammers claim there is a need to replace your meter or other equipment, and you must leave your home for 72 hours.
  • Power Restoration Charge
    Scammers call offering to restore your electricity more quickly for a fee after a severe storm.
  • Identification Attack
    Rather than directing victims to call a 1-800 number, the scammers direct callers to press 1 to collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.
     

How Cleco customers can protect themselves:

  • Hang up the phone immediately
    Do not call back the number given by the caller. Cleco customers can reach a Cleco representative by calling 1-800-622-6537 or reaching out through Cleco’s official Facebook page at @ClecoPower. Also, customers can verify account information through the company’s online customer account management service, MyAccount.
  • Delete deceptive emails
  • Shut the door on scammers
    Cleco service personnel will always wear clothing that clearly identifies them as Cleco employees.  Cleco contractors also should be able to produce a photo identification card which clearly identifies them as a Cleco contractor.

 

Below are customer outages by parish as of 4 p.m.

 

Parish

Number of Customers Without Power

% of Customers With Power Restored

Allen

99

98%

Beauregard

2,173

59%

Calcasieu

2,435

4%

Catahoula

18

61%

Grant

1,658

79%

Jefferson Davis

5

88%

Lasalle

9

40%

Natchitoches

50

93%

Rapides

2,363

94%

Vernon

758

87%

 

For additional information on Cleco’s storm restoration efforts, follow the company on Facebook @ClecoPower or visit Cleco’s Storm Center page at cleco.com/storm-center.