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Johnson City Power Board warns of scam attempts

Jennifer Sprouse • Aug 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

After receiving phone calls from concerned customers about threats of power disconnection and meter issues from people claiming to be Power Board employees, Johnson City Power Board officials are warning all consumers about a scam and caution everyone to be wary of any calls claiming to be from Power Board representatives.

JT McSpadden, JCPB communications specialist, said Wednesday that several customers have called into the Power Board saying that people have been telling them they have meter and account issues, and then threaten to disconnect the customer’s power if they do not pay.

“Everything seems to be revolving around the threat of disconnection and ... then the scammer soliciting the sale of a prepaid gift card to prevent that disconnection from happening,” he said.

McSpadden said while this is not the first time scammers have tried posing as JCPB employees to scam customers, there are certain things customers can look and ask for to reassure them that they are speaking to a Power Board employee.

“What I would like for our customers to know is that anytime there is any question about a Power Board employee, either approaching them on their property or calling them on the phone, our employees are always easily identifiable by their vehicles, which all have logos on them (and) by their employee IDs, which they’re required to have on them at all time,” he said. “In the case of a phone call, we would always identify ourselves by name, by our department and if there’s any question, I would encourage people to simply hang up and call the Power Board.”

According to a JCPB news release, customers are also invited to ask for the caller’s name, JCPB department and phone number should they question the call.

Customers can call JCPB customer service at 952-JCPB (5272) to confirm Power Board employee identities and the claims regarding their account they’ve received by phone.

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