BBB Warns of Robocalls from Telemarketers posing as Local Utility Companiesby Nick LaFleur on Nov. 30, 2012, under alert, Life, scam, Tips
Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is warning of automated telephone calls- or “robocalls”- from a company selling “energy efficiency services,” and claiming to be associated with a Southern Arizona utility company.
Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC), which serves parts of Cochise, Pima, Graham, and Santa Cruz Counties, says that many of their members have been inundated with robocalls from an unknown company, claiming an association with SSVEC in an attempt to sell an in-home energy audit, or solar panel installation.
In other cases the callers are telling SSVEC members that their energy bill is delinquent, and they need the consumer’s bank account or credit card number to bring it back up to date.
SSVEC does offer a free in-home energy audit, but will only notify its members of their eligibility by including a notice in their energy bills, through direct mail, or through SSVEC’s member magazine, Currents Magazine.
Neither SSVEC nor BBB have been able to identify the company that is placing the robocalls. Calls placed by BBB to the phone numbers consumers reported receiving the robocalls from were not answered, and there was no message service.
BBB has also heard from consumers across Tucson who are receiving similar calls on both land and mobile lines. The calls are coming from several different numbers that have either a 480 or 520 area code. In some cases, these individuals are also being offered a free in-home energy audit. If you have participated in one of these audits and have additional information about the company associated with these calls, please contact BBB at 520-888-5353 or email us at email@example.com.
BBB is also urging consumers to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.donotcall.gov if they receive these calls. Under the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule all pre-recorded solicitations are illegal, unless the consumer gives the company written permission to contact them in that manner.
BBB also urges consumers who receive calls from marketers claiming to be with a utility company, to notify their local utility, file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General at www.azag.gov, and notify BBB by calling (520)888-5353.