As soon as the storm passed, scammers started springing up in Central Texas
(KWTX) - Scammers wasted no time as Central Texas began to emerge from the mess left behind by the historic February freeze, preying on residents left to deal with home and plumbing damage, downed trees and electric service issues.
Some are masquerading as employees of Oncor, the state’s largest electric distribution and transmission company.
“We’re getting scammers claiming to be Oncor, threatening to disconnect their power because there’s a problem with their credit card payment,” Oncor Spokesperson Jen Myers said.
These calls may even appear on caller ID as Oncor, but Myers says if the callers are demanding money, it’s not Oncor that’s calling.
“It’s sad to see people take advantage of people when they are down,” Myers said.
People are even going door to door, sometimes dressed in what appears to be Oncor apparel.
“If you are worried someone has come to your front door asking to do some work on the house is Oncor, just shut the door,” Myers said.
“Just like the phone. Hang up, shut the door.”
The Better Business Bureau is warning Central Texas residents to watch out for scammers posing as contractors or employees of clean-up companies.
“We see everything from storm chasers trying to track down opportunities to take advantage all the way to fake charities.” BBB Regional Director Amy Rasor said.
Rasor says there are red flags to watch for.
“There’s definitely going to be a sense of urgency, especially when you are dealing with situations with pipes and water and getting your home back in working order.” Rasor said.
“You still have to take time to do your research.”
Never pay up front, watch for discounted material offers, and check customer reviews.
If you do fall victim to a scam, report it.
Oncor says it is investigating and prosecuting.
The BBB keeps track of scams through its scam tracker.
Oncor has more information about utility scams online.
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