AUTHORITIES_RB1Red Bank officials are warning residents of a phone scam making the rounds.

In an alert issued Wednesday, the police said the scammers use methods to trick residents into believing the calls come from electric utility JCP&L.

Here’s the full text of the alert:

JCP&L has received increased reports of scammers targeting utility customers.  In the latest scam, a telephone caller poses as an electric utility company employee and threatens to shut off the customer’s power unless an immediate payment is made.  In many cases, the customer is told to pay using a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot/MoneyPak card, a money transfer service like Money Gram or Western Union, or in person at a physical location.

Be aware that scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to lead you to believe you are receiving a call from JCP&L, and/or provide you with a fake “verification” phone number.  These call-back numbers may even include exact replicas of greetings and hold messages you would hear when calling JCP&L’s Contact Center.

Facts to remember:

·  If your account is past-due, you will receive a written notice of your account status, with instructions on how to avoid disconnection of service.

·  While JCP&L representatives may call a customer whose bill is in arrears in order to remind them that a payment is due, the representative would explain how a payment can be made using JCP&L’s established payment options.

·    They will not demand a payment over the phone or at a particular physical location.

·    JCP&L does not accept prepaid debit cards or wire transfers as payment, and our representatives will not demand your bank information or credit card number over the phone.

Fair Haven police issued a similar warning earlier this week.