Created on Friday, 17 January 2014 Written by THE BELLEFONTAINE EXAMINER STAFF
Officials with Logan County Electric Cooperative are warning their members not to open any suspicious electric bills they receive via e-mail and to report the activity to the co-op.
Cooperative members report receiving e-mails and even some phone calls, threatening to disconnect their electricity if they do not pay a large, outstanding balance against a fictitious account.
The e-mails have come from an alleged “PG&E Energy,” according to co-op officials. The message shows an outstanding balance and current charges for electricity and natural gas services. The message will also include a link inviting the recipient to check this supposed overdue account.
That link actually directs the user to a Web site that infects their device with malware (harmful software) that goes after banking information and could steal an individual’s usernames and/or passwords.
The involved malware is known as Kuluoz, cooperative officials report, a “trojan” designed to download additional threats onto infected computers, and opens their computer to other malware.
California-based Pacific Gas and Electric, has alerted its customers to the scam on its Web site, but the scam had spread as more devices are infected.
“We urge anyone who gets an email like this to delete it, without opening any links or attachments,” said Rick Petty, V.P. of Communications & Member Service for the co-op.
“If you ever receive a call or e-mail from someone claiming to represent Logan County Electric Cooperative, feel free to call us at 592-4781 to verify the person’s identity and validity of the message.”