Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas join forces with utilities nationwide to shut down scammers and protect customers
§ Utility scams grew more than 100 percent in 2016
§ Duke Energy customers have reported nearly $1 million in total losses as a result of scams since 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Nov. 15 marks the second annual Utility Scam Awareness Day, with natural gas and electric utility companies across the United States and Canada joining forces to inform customers and protect them from imposter utility scams. By sharing information and working together, Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS), is arming customers with the knowledge to spot scams and protect their information.
As part of the UUAS collaboration, communications are planned with customers during the week of Nov. 13 through the website, newsletters, email, bill messages, video, media, advertising and social media content.
“While Duke Energy customers have become nearly 50 percent less susceptible to scams since the formation of UUAS in 2016, scams continue to evolve,” said Jared Lawrence, vice president of meter services and Piedmont Natural Gas operations, and executive chairman of Utilities United Against Scams. “By knowing what to look for, customers can continue to shut down scammers and protect their wallets and personal information.”
Scammers posing as utility representatives use a variety of email, in-person and phone tactics to target families and businesses to steal money. According to Hiya, a phone spam protection company, utility scams grew 109 percent in 2016.
“In partnership with UUAS over the past six months, we’ve shut down more than 500 toll-free numbers running utility scams, making it more difficult for scammers to victimize customers of Duke Energy and other participating utilities,” said Joel Bernstein, vice president of regulatory and public policy at Somos, which administrates toll-free numbers.
Common scam tactics
For more information on how to spot a utility scam and protect personal information, visit duke-energy.com/StopScams and watch our “How to Spot a Scam” video.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company’s Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.
Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
About Piedmont Natural Gas
Piedmont Natural Gas, a North Carolina corporation, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than a million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont provides a foundation for establishing a broader strategic natural gas infrastructure platform within Duke Energy to supplement and complement the previous natural gas pipeline investments and the natural gas business located in the Midwest.
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Fortitudine. The ribbon cutting was held November 10th at 11 a.m. Their address is 4128 Clemson Blvd, Anderson, SC 29621. Light refreshments will be served at the event.
Fortitudine (flexibility.strength.cardio) opened in February 2015. It is a full function fitness studio with no machines. Fortitudine is all suspension band trainers with two specialties in TRX developed by Navy Seals and the Primal7 that enhances joint movement and assists with using body weight to get a great workout. The DIVA bootcamp is a trademarked program developed by the owner Sandra Roshonda Thomas.
They will be launching Ro's Smoothies inside of Fortitudine on November 11th from 12-3p.m.
Fortitudine is open 4:45-6:00a.m. and 5:30-7:00p.m. Monday-Friday. More information regarding this business is located at their website, www.fortitudine1.com
For additional information, contact the Anderson Area Chamber at (864) 226-3454.
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of Southern Smoke. The ribbon cutting was be held on Thursday, November 2nd at 11:30 a.m.
The concept of Southern Smoke Barbecue first began when Williamston Native Martin Cox decided to chase a dream. In late 2009 after many years of working as a welder for his family's business Martin went to his wife, Terri Cox, with the idea of fulfilling his passion for cooking by opening up their own business beginning with a food truck. They opened their very first food truck in 2010 in their hometown of Williamston.
Since then, Martin and his family have worked very hard and dedicated many long hours to turning this dream into a reality. They have participated in many festivals and competitions throughout the Upstate over the years, even winning first place in Williamston's Pig in the Park in 2010. After running six successful food trucks and one restaurant throughout the upstate, The Cox family is now expanding their business once again by opening their second restaurant close to home in the town of Pelzer, South Carolina.
Southern Smoke hours are Thursday-Saturday, 11:00 am to 9 pm. Their address is 926 Easley Hwy, Pelzer, South Carolina.
Amy Whitney- Branch Banking & Trust Co. (BB&T Bank)
Amy Whitney was born and raised in Anderson, SC. She is a graduate of T.L. Hanna High School and Southern Wesleyan University. Amy also graduated from The BB&T Banking School at Wake Forest University. She is a member of BB&T’s Sterling performance club (awarded to the top 5% revenue generators in the bank). Amy is a Vice President with BB&T and has worked with them 15 years this July. Amy began her career as teller in 2002, then was promoted to retail lending portfolio management and underwriting (with lending authority), for ten years she enjoyed managing several different BB&T office locations in the Upstate, she was the Small Business Development Officer for Anderson, Clemson, Seneca and the Quad’s for the last two years before her most recent promotion to a Commercial Loan Officer. She enjoys helping her clients build their business from the ground up and looks for creative ways to help save them time and money. She is especially passionate about growing businesses in the Anderson community in which she works, worships and lives. Amy is not only a Chamber Ambassador but also serves on the Women’s Business Advancement Committee for the Chamber. In addition she has also served as Accounting Chair for Relay for Life, Anderson University College of Business board, the board of Family Connection and an AWANA’s leader at her Church.
BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $219.3 billion in assets and market capitalization of $38.1 billion as of Dec. 31, 2016. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates 2,196 branches in 15 states and Washington, D.C, and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgages and insurance products and services. BB&T has a longstanding record of financial stability and enduring core values focused on excellence in client service.
4007 Clemson Blvd
Anderson, SC 29621
First Class H.A.L.T celebrated one year at their second location in Anderson on Thursday, October 26th with a ribbon cutting!
First Class Halt specializes exclusively in Honda, Acura, Lexus & Toyota repairs and service. We have over 40 years of automotive repair with 100% factory trained, Master ASE technicians with the highest level certification available from Honda, the Platinum Level II Honda Certification. For more information visit there Facebook page or Website!
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for one of our newest members, The Parenting Place. The ribbon cutting was held October 5th at 11am. Their address is 1899 Gentry Memorial Hwy, Easley, SC 29640.
The Parenting Place is one of the leading child abuse and neglect prevention agencies across the Upstate. Through additional programming like Healthy Families America (HFA), Family Check-Up, Counseling and Supportive Services, and Parenting Education classes, their agency provides support and education for parents who lack the ability to nurture or bond with their children because of the adverse childhood experiences they endured. Instead of perpetuating the cycle of abuse and neglect in Pickens County, and our neighboring Upstate counties, The Parenting Place’s programs aim to break those cycles. The agency provides intensive in-home parenting education and support to Upstate families facing risks such as substance abuse, domestic violence, single parenthood, low-income, and histories of child abuse or neglect.
The Parenting Place hours are Monday-Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. More information regarding the agency is located at their website, www.tppupstate.org.
The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce announced its 2017 Grassroots Tour, scheduled for September and October. It was in Anderson on Monday, September 18, 2017.
Each year, the State Chamber hits the road to hear from business leaders across the state about the issues facing their companies. The Grassroots Tour is a part of the South Carolina Chamber Alliance Partnership that connects the state, regional and local Chambers of Commerce and their members. The feedback received from the meeting will help shape the 2018 Competitiveness Agenda, which lays out the business community’s priorities for next year’s legislative session.
Members of the business community across Anderson County will have an opportunity to discuss the most important issues facing businesses, both large and small, with S.C. Chamber leadership.
We have provided the presentation given by Ted Pitts at this meeting to anyone who missed it.
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for the newest program at New Foundations Home for Children; Therapeutic Foster Care. The event was held on Tuesday, September 26 at 2:15 p.m. at 2300 Standridge Road, Anderson, 29625.
New Foundations Home for Children is proud to announce, Connections, a Therapeutic Foster Care program beginning in the Upstate this fall. The agency will connect children to the services they need in order to thrive. Their foster parents will connect children to a caring family. NFHFC experienced staff will connect families to the support they need to make a difference.
Foster care is the temporary care of children whose families are having problems and the child is not able to remain in the home. Most children are in foster care temporarily and they need loving, nurturing homes in order to stabilize and transition to the next chapter of their lives. Foster parents are incredibly special people willing to invest the time and energy to provide a temporary home for children in distress. The New Foundations program will offer a therapeutic component, specially training parents to work with children and youth who have suffered from abuse and neglect or other traumatic life experiences like the loss of a parent.
As of June 1, there were 270 children in Anderson County in need of foster homes. More than 80 of those require the therapeutic component. It is reported that only 27% of the children are placed in their home county. New Foundations would like to serve more children in the Upstate and help them thrive in loving homes.
Those interested in more information on the program should contact Tara Hall at 864-965-7774. Ms. Hall is interested in making speaking engagements throughout Anderson County in order to promote the program and recruit those amazing individuals and families willing to make a difference in a child’s life.
Now called New Foundations Home for Children, the agency was established in 1974 as the Youth Treatment Center for boys and later became Anderson Youth Association. NFHFC is a nonprofit organization serving South Carolina with residential care programs for children and teens and community based counseling and family services. New Foundations has served thousands of clients over the years, following its mission to secure the Future for Children and Families – Whatever It Takes!
This program is funded through a multi-year grant from The Duke Endowment. Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.
For more information on New Foundations Home for Children visit their website or call 864.225.1628.
The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for El Taco to celebrate their one year anniversary. The event will took place on Tuesday, September 19 at 11:00 a.m. at their restaurant located at 184 Civic Center Boulevard, Anderson, 29625.
The ribbon cutting will featured giveaways; thermos cups, gift cards, t- shirts, drink specials and 99¢ tacos all day.
For information, contact El Taco at (864) 540-8500 or visit their Facebook page.