GAHANNA, Ohio, November 14, 2023 — AEP Ohio, an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, encourages customers to stay alert as scammers become more active during the holiday season. Senior citizens, low-income residents and small businesses are especially susceptible to these scams and theft. To recognize Utility Scam Awareness Day on November 15, AEP Ohio is sharing tips and resources to help customers protect themselves and avoid becoming victims of fraud.
Scammers often pose as AEP Ohio employees. They may come to customers’ homes or reach out via phone or email – often using the following techniques in an attempt to defraud their victims:
- Threatening to shut off power unless an immediate payment is made;
- Telling customers they need a new electric meter and requiring payment before the meter is installed;
- Offering a discount on their electric bill if they sign up for automatic payments;
- Demanding that a deposit be paid immediately, insisting that a payment be made with a prepaid credit card or wire transfer, or asking to meet in person at another location to make a payment.
AEP Ohio encourages customers to follow these tips to protect their personal and financial information:
- If you’re told your account is past due, check your account status online or through our mobile app.
- Consider enrolling in mobile billing alerts for automatic payment reminders.
- Only make payments online at AEPOhio.com or through mail, by phone at (800) 611-0964 or at authorized payment locations.
- Remember that AEP Ohio employees will always show their company ID. Just ask.
- If you suspect you’re on the phone with a scammer, hang up immediately and call us at (800) 672-2231. We can tell if we’ve tried to contact you.
- Never respond to suspicious requests for personal information like bank account numbers, usernames and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.
- Follow us on social media. We monitor the latest threats and alert customers through our Facebook and X accounts.
If customers receive a suspicious phone call, feel threatened or believe they have been scammed, they should report it to local law enforcement and AEP Ohio. AEP Ohio tracks scam attempts and works with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute thieves.
For more information, visit AEPOhio.com/StopScams.
About AEP Ohio
AEP Ohio is based in Gahanna, Ohio, and is a unit of American Electric Power. AEP Ohio provides electricity to 1.5 million customers. News and information about AEP Ohio can be found at AEPOhio.com.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 225,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.6 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with nearly 29,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including approximately 5,800 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its regulated renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2032. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.