SCAM ALERT: Watch out for utility bill scammers threatening to cut your power

If a so-called utility worker knocks on your door threatening to cut off your utilities because of an overdue bill, there's a good chance it's a scam.

The Better Business Bureau is warning residents in Kinston and Jacksonville about a scam where people are posing as utility workers, asking you to pay your bill immediately or risk losing water or electricity.

The BBB says scammers may also tell you that they need to repair or replace your electric meter, when in reality, they're looking to get inside your home and steal your valuables.

Fortunately, there are ways to know whether or not your power is actually going to shut off:

-Check your account. See if your past payments have been cleared through your bank or utility company.
-Call the company directly or go to the office to see what the issue is.
-Don't cave in to pressure. Be wary of anyone asking for money immediately.
-Never pay through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer. Legitimate utility company's accept checks or credit cards and will usually direct you to one of their payment locations.
-Never let someone into your home to check wires or pipes unless you have scheduled an appointment or reported a problem.