The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

AEP Ohio warns of scam call complaints

VW independent/submitted information

American Electric Power (AEP) has received a number of complaints about scam artists calling customers and trying to extort money from them.

According to company officials and one local businessperson, scam artists are calling businesses and telling them they are late on their electric payments. They then demand payment that same day or threaten that the business’ electricity will be shut off.

aep_logoHomeOne local businessperson told the Van Wert independent that a caller told him he was two months late on his electric bill and payment would be needed that day to avoid a shutoff.

Coincidentally, the local man had a copy of his last monthly bill showing a zero balance and told the caller that. The caller then said AEP would investigate his claim but that payment needed to be sent to AEP’s office in Dublin before the end of business hours that day.

Since the call was made at 3 p.m., it was obvious that someone couldn’t make it from Van Wert to Dublin before the office closed, and the businessman refused to pay anything to the caller.

The local man said one worrying item was that the caller knew the exact total of what his last two bills would be.
Fortunately, the local businessman called AEP’s 877 customer service number and found out the call was merely an attempt to scam money from him.

AEP Ohio has the following tips to avoid scams:

  • AEP Ohio will never call or email to ask for personal or financial information.
  • Only make payments to authorized AEP Ohio agents or through options listed on www.aepohio.com. AERP will never demand payment with prepaid debit cards or threaten to shut a customer’s power if that payment isn’t made.
  • Told an account is past due? Verify an account’s status online at the above website.
  • AEP Ohio employees are always willing to show their company identification. Just ask.

Those who think they’ve been scammed, or that someone tried to scam them, can call 800.672.2231 any time of the day or night.

POSTED: 02/02/16 at 12:35 am. FILED UNDER: Business, News