CPS Energy issues scam warning

Caller threatens disconnection of service, demands immediate payment through debit cards

SAN ANTONIO - It seems scammers are using CPS Energy to get unsuspecting customers to hand over their hard-earned money by threatening them with an interruption in their service.

Christine Patmon, a spokeswoman for CPS Energy, said in the past week, they've had five calls reporting the scam.

"The gentleman who's been calling lately has called himself Michael," Patmon said. "He's threatening to cut service if they don't make a payment immediately."

Patmon said "Michael" tells the customer to make a payment using a prepaid credit card.

"He's telling them to go buy that card and then provide him that number and to pay their overdue bill and most of the customers don't have an overdue bill," Patmon said.

Most of the targets of the scam were commercial customers who were told they owed hundreds of dollars. Patmon said the scammer has also called residential customers in recent months.

"We never call anyone to threaten to cut off their service," Patmon said. "If we're going to cut off your services, it's going to be because you haven't paid your bill and you will already have three notices from us."

In another scam, people posing as CPS Energy workers talked their way into a home after showing up unannounced.

"It just so happens that there was a youngster in the house and saw the gentleman go into a bedroom and asked what he was doing back there and that kind of spooked them and they left," Patmon said. "We will never ask to go into your house unless you've already set up a previous arrangement with us."

Patmon said if someone from CPS Energy does knock on your door they should be wearing CPS logos and have an official ID with an employee number on it.  She said customers can ask for that number and call it into their security office to verify the employee's identity. The security office is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  The number is 210-353-4000.

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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