Recently Lamar Electric customers have received phone calls from scammers posing as Lamar Electric employees. The scammers have been demanding money and threating to turn electricity off if payment is not made to them. A phone scam is nothing new, but when you receive a call from a company you trust, many will believe what they have to say. These thieves normally target the elderly but have been known to target businesses as well. The caller tells customers their accounts are delinquent and the customers will need to pay immediately or their electricity will be disconnected. The customers are directed to pay over the phone with a credit or debit card. Several members were contacted in the past and we are receiving complaints about this happening to our customers once again. If an authentic employee of Lamar Electric Cooperative calls you on the phone he or she will never ask you for a password, username or Social Security number. If someone calls and claims to work for the cooperative and asks you for this information, you’ll have a pretty good idea that the person is a fraud. Never give out personal or account information over the phone unless you have initiated the call.
We request any member who receives a suspicious call to ask the name of the caller and a phone number to call back, then to hang up and immediately report it to the sheriff’s department. Asking the caller for any information, like a name and phone number, may help authorities locate the source of this scam. Once the sheriff’s department has been notified, notify us of the fraudulent activity so we can stay informed. The only automated system Lamar Electric uses concerning past due bills, utilizes a recorded message and is used as a reminder only. The recording will not ask for a payment and does not have the ability to take payments over the phone. We hope that bringing this scam to the attention of our customers and the community will aide authorities in catching the scammers.
If your electric bill seems higher than it used to be, it’s time to investigate.
First check your history. Verify that the bill truly is higher. You can call Lamar Electric during office hours and ask the Customer Service person to review your bills over the past year. This lady will have your monthly usage for the past several years on her computer screen. If you are looking at a bill for usage during June 2017, you may want to compare it to the exact same time frame in the prior year. Comparing your current monthly usage to the same month for the past few years will often give you a good idea if your current bill is for about the same usage or a lot more. Those of you that are computer savvy may consider going to www.LamarElectric.Coop and click on View My Bill Online. If this is your first time, you will need to enter your account number and set a password. Your usage is displayed for each day by selecting My Usage. The back arrows will allow you to back up to the same billing period last year. Under My Bills,you can even look or print copies of your past electric bills. Our rate has not changed since 2006 so the exact same usage will be billed the exact same amount, except for the monthly Power Cost Recovery Factor. The PCRF changes about every month based on the actual cost of wholesale power purchased for you by Lamar Electric. The PCRF factor is located about 2/3 of the way down on the left side of your bill, just below Billing Date.
Second, check the weather. Fluctuations in outdoor temperatures can lead your family to crank up the air conditioning on especially hot days. Readmore..
Please visit our Right of Way Program page to see up to date maps and information.
We are working hard to make sure your lights stay on. Our Right of Way Program helps make that happen. By clearing trees and spraying brush, our members are less likely to have a power outage caused by limbs or trees falling on the line. You may see men working and their vehicles will be marked to clear the right of way on your property. These men will be wearing hard hats and neon vests. As always, if you spot unusual activity call the sheriff.