NEW ORLEANS -- Entergy is just one of many utilities across the country where customers are subjected to phone scammers, threatening to cut off their power if they don't pay up immediately.
This week, a customer in St. Bernard Parish who did not want to be identified, recorded her phone conversation with a man claiming to work for Entergy.
The call started with a demand for money.
"It says here we never received your last payments," the caller said. "That's why we have you for a disconnection order."
The customer said the man then told her she had about an hour to pay the outstanding balance.
"It looks like it's taking place today at 12," the caller said. "There will be a disconnection. The account shows it has a delinquent status due for non-payment.
The customer asked the caller to give her the outstanding balance.
"The account shows a total amount to avoid disconnection for $998.64 to avoid the disconnection mam," the caller answered.
WWL-TV asked Lee Sabatini from Entergy Louisiana to listen to the call. She noted the call appeared to be suspicious from the start.
"One was the number they gave her to call back was not an Entergy phone number," Sabatini said. "Secondly, they were very combative, insisting that she didn't pay her bill even though she said, but I did pay it."
The caller instructed the customer to make a payment at a gas station on St. Charles Avenue or at a convenience store in the French Quarter.
Sabatini said Entergy would never send customers to locations like those.
"They can go to one of the Entergy Customer Care Centers," Sabatini said. "That would be the only in person location a customer can make a payment."
The customer had one last thing to tell the suspected scammer before suspected scammer suddenly hung up.
"I just called Entergy and I know that you're a scam," she said.
Here are a few things you should know:
Entergy never demands immediate payment.
You'll never hear from a live person from Entergy saying you're about to be disconnected.
If you suspect you're being scammed, hang up and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) to speak with an Entergy customer service representative.