Article to read and share

Article to read and share

Scammers target utility customers

LINCOLN — Electric customers across the state are receiving some unwanted calls.

A large number of phone scam incidents have been reported this week to the Nebraska Rural Electric Association by its member-systems. Customers served by Howard-Greeley Rural Public Power District, Butler PPD and Loup Valleys RPPD have reported receiving scam calls from individuals stating they are with the local electric utility and are collecting for a past due amount on an electric bill.

The callers claim the bill must be paid immediately or the power will be shut off. Sometimes the scammer’s caller-identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as “spoofing.”

The Nebraska Rural Electric Association said customers should be wary of such scams and follow these tips and suggestions:

— Your local public power district or electric cooperative, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.

— A local electric utility does not demand payment with a pre-paid card.

— Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone.

— Write down the call back number or consider asking where the caller is located.

— Contact law enforcement.-

— If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.

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The article appeared in The Grand Island Independent on Tuesday, June 26, 2018