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2013-05-30 digital edition

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2013-05-30 / Community News

Fraud Attempts Still Targeting Bluebonnet Members

People falsely claiming to be Bluebonnet employees or contractors continue to target co-op members, attempting to trick them into making payments for supposedly delinquent accounts by using prepaid money cards, such as MoneyPak cards that can be bought at Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS/pharmacy.

The scam has targeted Spanish-speaking co-op members with residential and commercial accounts, primarily in Bastrop and Lee counties. Bluebonnet is working with local law enforcement agencies that are handling the case.

“The best way for us and our members to stop this fraud is to be informed and to work together,” said Mark Rose, Bluebonnet’s general manager. “The more information we and local law enforcement have about the people doing this, the more likely we will be to prevent any further fraud and to catch the people responsible for it.”

Bluebonnet members contacted by someone claiming to be a Bluebonnet employee or contractor asking for their account information or for a payment on their account should not give them any information. Members should try to get as much information about the caller as possible, including the phone number from which he or she is calling by caller ID, and immediately call Bluebonnet at 800-842-7708 between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or local law enforcement as soon as possible.

Bluebonnet wants its members to be aware of co-op procedures in order to protect themselves from fraud. Bluebonnet’s process for working with members with delinquent accounts is clear and consistent. Bluebonnet makes at least two attempts to contact its members - by mail and by courtesy call - within two weeks of a delinquent payment’s due date to offer payment options using a debit or credit card.

The reported calls made by people claiming to be Bluebonnet employees or contractors attempting to get members to pay their bills with third-party companies showed on caller ID as out-of-state area codes and phone numbers.

If a Bluebonnet member has not received a reminder in the mail or a courtesy call about their account and someone claiming to be from Bluebonnet calls from an out-of-state phone number and tells them to pay their bill through a third-party company, do not pay.

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