Beware of Energy Bill Scams

You get a call or a visit from someone claiming to be from your energy company. They explain that your bill is past due and threaten to shut off your service if you don't make a payment. However, you know your monthly bill was paid. Do you need to worry?

The answer is yes, but not for the reason you might think. Energy bill scams are becoming increasingly common. Scammers will use aggressive tactics, such as insisting your account is delinquent and threatening to shut off service immediately unless payment is made by an unusual means such as a prepaid card or cash on the spot. As a customer, it can be difficult to ignore these convincing phone calls, emails, texts, and even home visits.

To protect yourself from scams, be on the lookout for these red flags:

  • Demand for immediate payment in unconventional ways, such as cash, bank transfer, prepaid card, or a check in their name
  • Requests for personal information such as your social security number and bank account numbers
  • The scammer has no proof of employment with your energy company and isn't wearing branded clothing or materials
  • The scammer could be calling, emailing, or texting from a suspicious phone number or email address. Today, scammers can also "spoof" phone numbers making it appear to be coming from your utility company.

In some cases, scammers will use seasonal bill spikes as an opportunity to swindle energy customers. For example, they might show up at your door with a fake promotion to help you save money. This type of fraud is most common in the summer and winter months when increased energy demand leads to higher bills, and customers may be more receptive to savings opportunities.

Follow these steps if you suspect an energy bill scam or have any questions whatsoever about someone making contact with you regarding your bill:

  1. If a suspected scammer shows up at your home, lock the doors. Feel free to hang up if you receive a call.
  2. Report the suspicious activity to your local law enforcement.
  3. Call your cooperative at a number you know to be for Blue Ridge Energy (see our Contact Us page). Do not contact a number you receive from the suspected scammer.
  4. Explain the situation and ask about the status of your account. You can also go online to your personal account portal at to check your account status at any time.
  5. Spread the word to family, friends and neighbors so that they don't become victims of the scam.
  6. Report the scam at, a U.S. Department of Justice website.

Keep in mind that if your bill is in fact unpaid, your energy company will not immediately disconnect service. First, you'll receive a bill highlighting the overdue amount. If not paid, you will receive an automated call advising you to contact Blue Ridge Energy concerning your account. A Blue Ridge Energy line technician may contact an overdue account before they arrive to disconnect a service; however, they cannot accept payments or make payment arrangements. Members must contact Blue Ridge Energy office staff to make a payment.

Your energy company will give you ample time to make payments and will never use threatening tactics. You can always call us to check your account status or go online to access your account at

With this knowledge, you can empower yourself against scammers.