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October 7, 2013
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Alabama Attorney General
Claire Haynes (334) 242-7351
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MONTGOMERY – Attorney General Luther Strange warns of recurring scams in
which consumers are asked to send money to either pay a supposed debt or as a fee to
receive prizes or merchandise.
In recent days, there have been reports from Huntsville and Birmingham of people
receiving fraudulent calls threatening that their power was about to be disconnected if they
did not immediately pay by providing credit card information or by purchasing and sending a
disposable debit card. In response to this, the actual electrical utilities issued public warnings
urging consumers not to provide information or payments, but to contact the company
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division periodically receives inquiries
and complaints about similar scams, with scammers often claiming to represent utilities
companies that provide electricity, natural gas, telephone or cable service.
“These scams use fear and intimidation to trick people into thinking they owe money
and to send payments quickly or they may lose an essential or highly-valued service,” said
Attorney General Strange. “I urge Alabamians to be suspicious of any such calls and to not be
frightened into sending money they may not owe and which may be impossible to recover.”
Attorney General Strange tells consumers to take extreme care in any wire transfers of
money, in sending disposable debit cards, or in providing their financial information. He
offers the following advice:
Ask the person calling for their name and contact information, but do not rely on what they
tell you.
Look up the contact information of the company they claim to represent, verify it for yourself,
and contact the company directly.
If someone says you must act immediately, either to get a prize, to pay a fee, or to stop
disconnection of a service, refuse to handle this with them on the telephone, but tell them that
you will take care of it by contacting the company directly for yourself.
If they persist in demanding immediate payment, tell them that you will report the matter to
local law enforcement, the company they claim to represent, and the Attorney General’s
Consumers may contact Attorney General Strange’s Consumer Protection Section by
calling toll-free 1-800-392-5658 or through the website at http://ago.alabama.gov/Page-
501 Washington Avenue Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 242-7300