Phone scam targets utility customers
Updated On: Mar 01 2013 04:51:39 PM CST
Rocky Mountain Power is warning customers of a phone scam that is targeting utility customers.
In a news release, the company said crooks are posing as customer service agents and are trying to steal personal information.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said he has also received complaints from customers of Idaho Power Company in Pocatello, Blackfoot, Boise, and Mountain Home.
According to Rocky Mountain Power, the scammers call customers claiming to be from their utility. They then tell potential victims that they have not paid for service and are in jeopardy of being disconnected. They demand a payment immediately over the phone, telling customers to either call a special number or purchase a pre-paid card from a local store and calling back with the code.
Rocky Mountain Power advises it does not follow that practice and that company representatives will always have the customer's account number.
In any case, the utility continues, customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other personal information.
Wasden added, “No one who receives these calls should send money or provide personal or financial information to the caller. These calls are an attempt to commit a criminal fraud. Anyone who has lost money to these calls should contact their local police or sheriff.”
Attorney General Wasden said a similar scam directed to residential customers was reported last May, and again, last month. That version of the scam targeted Hispanic customers with phone calls, in Spanish, demanding bill payment by providing personal information for the purpose of identity theft.
Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information, like the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they are told to send money, or even vehicle license plate numbers, and to report the incident to local police and their utility provider.
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