Alexandria city councilman almost falls victim to phone scam

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 4:39 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - An Alexandria city councilman says he almost fell victim to a phone scam.

District Five Councilman Chuck Fowler tells KALB he received a suspicious phone call from an unknown number a few days ago. During the conversation, the person, alleging to be from Cleco, told Fowler he owed a large sum of money for his utility bill. The person on the other end of the phone claimed that Fowler couldn’t pay the bill at the Cleco office because there, “wasn’t personnel available to service the request.” The councilman was then told to pay the amount using a pre-paid card he could purchase from a local store.

Fowler called a friend from Cleco who told him that the utility company isn’t cutting off anyone’s power during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Alexandria is also working with people on their utility bills as well. And if it can happen to him, Fowler says it can happen to anyone.

“If they’re someone like me that’s dealt with it on an ongoing basis for as long as I have to be able to be convinced that I owed something I didn’t owe and almost go buy a card to pay for it, you know, other folks need to be warned,” said Fowler.

Fowler says the unknown caller had his name, address, and the address of Cleco. He wants to remind people before transferring money to always get with a second person and verify the information.

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