Disconnection Notice with Immediate Effect

I was about to clock out at work one day, when my co-worker called my extension to state the electricity company was on the phone, and they were talking about disconnection at one of the stores in Texas. That was strange since I paid the bills, and this was the first time this type of call was coming in. As I accepted the call, the agent on the phone advised me that the services were scheduled to be disconnected in 2 hours.

At this point, I checked the vendor’s account and identified the bills and check number for the last payment. The monthly payment covered the electricity bills for four stores, yet still the agent was advising the disconnection notice would only affect one store. This raised a red flag as there was no mention of the other stores, whose services would have been affected if the payment was not received. The representative on the phone wanted immediate payment to avoid the electricity being disconnected.

I contacted the store manager in Texas who then advised she got a call from the electricity company also, so she gave them our number since we paid the bills. This was another red flag. The electricity bills had our billing address and contact details listed, so it was strange that the store was contacted before our office? I decided to ask the agent for a 24 hour hold on the disconnection, she put me on hold for 5 minutes and then advised again payment was needed immediately.

It was past my clock out time at this point and overtime was not allowed with the company, so I advised my manager at the time of the problem. She advised payment needed to be made immediately to avoid disconnection. I explained something was not right as multiple services would have been affected. The request for a 24-hour hold was also denied which is extremely unlikely for customers who normally settle their bills on time. The manager got the bank account details to make the check by phone payment and went to her office. I decided to advise the assistant manager of the issue also and my suspicions just to ensure I covered myself in this matter. I knew something was not right.

The next morning, I was advised by the manager that they decided to investigate further after I left, and my suspicions were correct. It was a scam that would have resulted in losses over 2000.00 USD. Objectivity in accounting ensure losses are reduced and fraud is prevented. I prefer to prevent fraud/losses instead of calculating how much was lost.

Miranda Spencer-Averhart

Objectiveaccounting.com

03/14/2019

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