CPS Energy warns of scammers cloning its number, offering reimbursement to customers

Company won’t ask for personal, banking information on the phone

SAN ANTONIO – We could all use some extra money this time of year, but if someone claiming to be from CPS Energy calls you and says you’re due a refund, hang up. It’s a scam.

CPS Energy is warning its customers that scammers are calling customers with a spoofed or cloned number that looks to be the CPS Energy customer service number of 210-353-2222. The caller tells customers that they’ve been overcharged and are due a refund and a discount in the future. The scammers then ask the customer to provide a credit card number and social security number so they can be credited some money.

It’s a new variation of an old scam in which a caller usually is demanding payment and threatening to shut off service.

While actual CPS Energy workers may call to give you information about services and assistance, they will never demand money or ask for personal or banking information over the phone. They will also not call and threaten to disconnect service over the phone.

“Energy Advisors began the practice of calling customers to offer assistance or direct them to agencies that can help with payment assistance on their energy bill. Although this new customer service action involves calling the customer, no request for personnel banking or personal identification numbers are requested,” said CPS Energy Spokesperson John Moreno.

CPS has offered the following tips to determine if a call is a scam:

  • Caller threatens to cut off power. Scam artists demand quick action as a scare tactic.

  • Caller asks customer to purchase any prepaid card to make payment. Once the imposter gets the card’s PIN or security number, it’s like wiring money. The funds cannot be recovered.

  • Caller sends customer to CVS Pharmacy/Office Depot/Walgreens to make a payment.

  • Caller refuses option to pay at H-E-B, claims it takes 24 hours to receive payment.

  • Caller claims recent payment was not received or was misapplied.

  • Caller gives customer 30 minutes to pay or get shut-off.

  • Caller claims someone from CPS Energy is on the way to turn power off.

  • Caller asks customer for banking information.

  • Caller asks customer for their account number.

  • Caller supplies customer with an account number to apply a payment.

  • Caller gives a toll free (i.e.: 1-800 or 1-844) number to have customer call back with payment.

Anyone who receives this type of call should not make any payments and should hang up and call CPS Energy customer service directly at 210-353-2222.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPS Energy has stopped disconnection of services for nonpayment and has no timeline for resuming disconnections.

The company said if someone approaches a customer’s home or business claiming to be with CPS Energy, the customer should always ask for an employee ID. Customers who fear they are in immediate danger should call 911.

About the Author:

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 20 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.