How do I know if the Cleco representative calling me or approaching my home or business is really a Cleco employee?
To get your service connected or resolve a problem with your account, a Cleco representative may call you. However, Cleco will never call you demanding immediate payment for an overdue bill and ask you to pay with a prepaid debit card or wire transfer to avoid disconnection.
These types of phone calls are scams, and they have become very common in the electric utility industry. Scammers target Cleco customers on a regular basis. The caller pretends to be a Cleco employee and insists that your service is going to be disconnected if you don’t pay immediately over the phone. The caller ID may even falsely display Cleco’s customer service number or another Cleco number. If this happens, hang up and do not call back the number. Call Cleco’s customer service number at 1-800-622-6537.
Cleco service personnel will always wear clothing that clearly identifies them as Cleco employees. In addition to the Cleco logo on their vehicles, shirts and hats, they can produce a photo identification card which clearly identifies them as a Cleco employee or contractor. Other employees, such as right-of-way coordinators and engineers, who may contact customers, will be able to present a photo identification card as well. If this proper identification isn’t presented, call 911 and Cleco customer service at 1-800-622-6537 to report the incident.
What are some common utility scams?
- Disconnection Deception
Scammers call threatening disconnection of your service unless you make an immediate payment with a credit, debit or 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 toll-free number, the scammers ask you to press 1 to collect more data in an attempt to get your personal information.
- Disconnection Deception
How can customers protect themselves?
Be familiar with the common utility scams shared in these FAQs. Remember that scammers use fraudulent phone calls, text messages, emails, as well as in-person visits to take advantage of customers.
If you receive a fraudulent phone call, hang up the phone immediately, do not give out any personal information and do not call back the number given by the caller. If you receive a fraudulent text message or email, delete both. If you receive an in-person visit, call 911 and Cleco customer service at 1-800-622-6537 to report the incident. Cleco will ask for details about the scam, like the time of the call and what the scammer asked you to do.