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SMECO Wants to Prevent Scams

Know What You Owe

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative wants to help its customers keep their hard-earned money and prevent scams. Review the helpful tips below, or download SMECO’s guide to spotting scams here.

Know SMECO’s procedures:

Customers should only give payment information over the phone if they initiate the call. Callers who give short deadlines and threaten to cut off service within an hour or two are probably running a scam. SMECO has a set routine for collecting payments from customers.

  • SMECO will mail a termination notice if a bill is past due.
  • SMECO only calls customers who owe a past due balance.
  • SMECO usually uses an automated phone system with a recorded message; rarely will SMECO employees make personal “collection” phone calls.
  • Collection calls are made about 10 days before service is to be terminated. SMECO does not require payment at the time of the call.
  • SMECO does not make collection calls or terminate service on weekends or holidays.
  • If service is going to be terminated, a SMECO collector will knock on the customer’s door before turning off service.
  • SMECO collectors will accept credit card payments, checks, or money orders, but they do not accept cash.

If a customer is concerned about the status of an account, a SMECO contact center representative can provide helpful information. SMECO customers should call 1-888-440-3311. The phone number is printed at the top of customer bills and SMECO’s contact center is open all day, every day.

Because SMECO does initiate automated collection calls and customers can choose to make a payment over the phone, some phone calls are legitimate. Alternate energy suppliers and solar companies that are trying to conduct business legitimately may also contact customers to offer their services, but customers should never feel obligated to provide their account information. Legitimate companies can provide services without requiring a customer’s account number.

SMECO wants to prevent phone scammers from victimizing customers by simplifying the payment process. SMECO has a number of ways customers can pay their bills that will help prevent confusion.

  • Customers can use budget billing to pay the same amount every month.
  • They can use AutoPay to have payments made automatically with a credit card or checking account.
  • Customers can easily go online and make weekly payments if that helps them with their personal budget.

Avoid e-mail scams:

  • SMECO’s e-mails contain account-specific information and distinctive orange and green colors. Do not open e-mails from unfamiliar sources.
  • If an e-mail looks suspicious, it may contain malware or links to a virus-infected website.
  • Customers can simply delete the suspicious e-mail and contact SMECO by phone or log on to SMECO’s bill payment website.
  • Customers should not provide personal information, credit card, debit card, banking information or user names and passwords in an e-mail.

SMECO says its goal is to make it easy for customers to do business with them, and the company offers a variety of payment methods that are free and convenient.

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative is a customer-owned electric cooperative providing electricity to more than 150,000 services in southern Prince George’s County, Charles County, St. Mary’s County, and Calvert County.

To learn more about SMECO, visit their Leader member page. Visit SMECO on their Facebook Page and Twitter.

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