OPPD Warns of Latest Phony Billing Scam

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

Scam artists are trying to bilk Omaha Public Power District customers out of money by falsely claiming to represent the District’s billing department. A number of customers have reported receiving fraudulent calls over the past few days.

The callers tell customers their payment is overdue and that in order to avoid having their power shut off, they must pay up. In some instances, they claim they need payment for installation of new equipment like meters. They demand money, a credit card number or other financial or personal information. Similar scams involving other utilities have been reported in various parts of the country.

In some recent local cases, scammers even used a phone number similar to the District’s Call Center.

The thieves aren’t just trying to get money over the phone. A couple of intended victims report being instructed to take cash to Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS to make the payment. In the past, scammers have also asked customers to turn off home or business security systems, to “help the utility save energy,” falsely claiming it’s a good way for the customer to “reduce the energy bill.”

OPPD stresses that none of these individuals demanding cash payments or financial information work for the District. It also advises:

  • Residential or business customers should never give personal or financial information to a stranger during an unsolicited telephone call.

  • If such a person should appear unannounced at one’s door claiming to work for the utility, do not allow them entrance and always ask for identification or verification. OPPD employees always carry identification. Failure to produce identification should always be a tip-off to the customer that something is wrong.

  • They should also refuse to turn off their security systems simply because a stranger asks them to do so. Any customer who receives such a call is advised to call local law enforcement.
  • OPPD has notified the Omaha Police Department of the latest scam and is working with police to help protect our customers.

    Customers should call: 402-536-4131 within Omaha or 1-877-536-4131 outside of Omaha if they have any questions.

    Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
    powered by Disqus
    WOWT NBC Omaha 3501 Farnam Street Omaha, NE 68131 (402) 346-6666 sixonline@wowt.com
    Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 193311091 - wowt.com/a?a=193311091
    Gray Television, Inc.