Richlands Police are investigating a scam going on in Tazewell County. People are reportedly posing as workers with AEP threatening to cut off electricity if money isn’t paid using a cash card within minutes. Amber Honaker received the reported scam call. Honaker is the office manager at Larry Dye’s Heating and Cooling in Cedar Bluff. She said she received a scam call just after 11 a.m. on Tuesday January 5, 2016. Honaker said the caller had a foreign accent.
Honaker said, “He wanted us to pay $892 and within 30 minutes. You know a lot of people could think their electric was going to be shut off. It’s 20 degrees outside and easily do it.”
According to Honaker, the number that showed up on their caller ID was the same as the number listed on their recent bill.
“He told us someone would be here to turn it off. I told him that you know they could come on and come to turn it off and that we would settle it up when they got here. He followed through with the conversation just like he was an AEP employee.”
Honaker said the caller gave her a number that started with 844. The alleged scammer said to call that number back. It led her to a recording that made her actually think that it was AEP.
59News called the number back. The man who answered was still claiming to be with AEP. Jeri Matheney with Appalachian Power wants residents to know this is a scam.
Matheney said, “We don’t do that. If they get a call that seems threatening or urgent, the best thing to do is hang up, go get your Appalachian Power bill and call the number on that bill and ask them about your payment.”
Police said anyone caught could face Felony Larceny charges. Right now officers said they do not have any leads on this case. If you received a call like this, contact Richlands Police Department at 276-964-9134.