Scammer after Franklin Power customers

Published 5:54 pm Friday, April 10, 2015

A person using the number 757-603-9545 has been calling Franklin residents and informing them that they have a delinquent electricity bill. If they do not pay promptly with a credit card over the phone, the caller is alleging that the city will turn off the power to the house.

City attorney Taylor Williams said this is a scam. Since about 4 p.m. on Friday, the city has been alerted to five attempts in the city.

Researching the number, Williams said it came up previously with a similar scam going out to customers of Dominion Power.

City Manager Randy Martin said they were not aware of how the scammer is getting phone information on city residents. But, he added, that the scammer does not have personal records of clients because he is alleged to have asked a business for $400.

Williams did not identify the business, but he said that business uses well over $400 in power in a typical month.

He further added that the city bills through the mail. Regular bills go out through the mail, and the same is true for delinquent notices that are subject to being cut off.

The city does not use the practice of calling customers and demanding payment over the phone if a person wants to keep his or her lights on. No one other than city staff are authorized to collect payment, and they do so in the business office.