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Callers Posing as Magic Valley Employees, Demand Payment

9 months 5 days 11 hours ago Sunday, November 03 2019 Nov 3, 2019 November 03, 2019 10:13 PM November 03, 2019 in News

EDINBURG – An Edinburg woman says a man claiming to be with her electrical company tried to trick her into paying him. The call came in last weekend.

"I told them there's no way I can make a payment of 200 and some dollars," the woman said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS is withholding the woman's name because she feels targeted. She says when her phone rang, the caller ID said "Magic Valley Electrical Cooperative."

The caller told her the account was 2 months past due.

"I needed to pay make a payment right away because the truck was coming down or the electrical company truck was coming down to disconnect my electricity." 

The woman says she had just made a payment a few days before the call.

"A lot of us have we live paycheck to paycheck sometimes and we designate our money for our bills and other stuff so I was very upset." 

The woman says she asked the caller for an extension. He agreed and gave her a number to call on Monday.

When she called Magic Valley's main line, they told her she had a zero balance.

"It's your money and these people are trying to take it." 

A spokesperson for Magic Valley says they've seen an increase in these calls targeting their customers.

Luis Reyes, Communications Manager for Magic Valley Electric Cooperative, says the theives are using caller ID spoofing.

"Which that means though is that they're actually pretty much cloning that number to reflect that it's the same number from an electric company or from a local number from here from the Rio Grande Valley," Reyes said. 

Reyes says the calls are even more common as the holiday season approaches.

"You have family over the last thing you want to do is to get disconnected," Reyes said. "They play with your feelings they can play with what you are most proud of which can be your home your family."

If you get one of these calls, don't provide your address, credit card or bank account information.

Reyes also says Magic Valley will never call asking for payment.

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