News : Scammers Target Meridian Customers
Oct 16, 2014 -- Scammers posing as Meridian Energy staff have targeted elderly Christchurch residents threatening to cut their power if they do not hand over financial details.
Meridian retail general manager Alan McCauley said the company had alerted police after three Christchurch customers received hoax phone calls during the past week and a St Albans customer was door knocked by a man and a woman claiming to be from the power company.
"These customers are all over the age of 65, so we think the scammers could be targeting customers in that age group. We are really concerned and ask our customers to be wary of anyone phoning or door knocking asking for payment on their electricity account," McCauley said.
He said during the scam phone calls, the homeowners were told they would have their electricity disconnected immediately unless they provided credit card details to make payment over the phone. The door knocked customer was told to pay cash or the electricity would be disconnected.
"We follow a strict process for customers whose electricity account is in arrears. All customers phoned about their overdue electricity account have received a number of letters from us prior to any phone call," McCauley said.
He said the company never phoned asking for money "out of the blue" or door knocked customers to pay their accounts or face being disconnected.
He urged other people who may have encountered similar incidents not to hand over personal information and to call the Meridian Energy customer contact centre on 0800 496 496.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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