Businesses Beware: Scam artists on the prowl
Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Businesses targeted in bill payment fraud
Special to The Leader
BEAUMONT– Con artists are using old tricks to target businesses across Southeast Texas.
The scheme involves calls from a scammer claiming to represent Entergy. The caller warns the business owner or manager of a past due electric bill payment, and threatens to disconnect service within the hour if payment isn’t made. The scammer then directs the customer to transfer funds electronically, sometimes through a system known as “MoneyPak” or “Green Dot.” This scam has typically targeted restaurant owners or other small business owners.
How can you protect yourself and keep from falling victim to this scam?
- While the company does place courtesy calls if you are at risk for disconnection, these are recorded calls, and are not calls from live customer service representatives. Entergy NEVER demands immediate payment.
- While you may pay your Entergy bill by phone or credit card, it is ONLY through BillMatrix, a third-party vendor we use for this purpose.
- You should never give your personal information to strangers. If a call sounds suspicious, call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.
Also, you can manage your Entergy account and review account alert options to stay better informed by downloading the free Entergy smart phone app or visiting entergy.com to register for myAccount.
You should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay your Entergy bill. We offer several convenient ways:
- Pay online – For no additional charge, you may securely log in to myAccount at entergy.comto conveniently pay your bill online.
- Pay by phone – You may pay your bill by credit card, debit card or electronic check by calling Entergy’s pay-by-phone provider, BillMatrix, at 1-800-584-1241. BillMatrix charges a $2.95 service fee.
- Walk-in payment centers – Want to pay in person? You may pay your bill by cash, check or money order at an authorized Quick Payment Centerin your community. A convenience fee may apply.
- Bank draft– You can avoid late fees by having your Entergy payment automatically deducted from your checking account each month. Entergy will mail a monthly billing statement to you for your records, showing the bill amount and bank draft date.
- Pay by mail – You can send a check by U.S. Mail to the remittance address shown on your bill.
If you believe you are a victim of this scam, you should notify the proper authorities, such as the local police or the state attorney general’s office. If you believe your Entergy account has been affected, call 1-800-ENTERGY(1‑800‑368‑3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to more than 430,000 customers in 27 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation. Entergy is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.