Beware of electric company scammers

COLUMBUS, Neb. (WOWT) -- Electric customers throughout the state are starting to get some unwanted calls.

There has been an increased number of phone scam incidents reported this week to the Nebraska Public Power District by customers who do not get a bill from NPPD.

Customers served at wholesale through their community, such as Seward and Dorchester, have reported receiving scam calls from individuals stating that they are with NPPD or ‘the electric utility’ and are collecting for a past due amount on an electric bill..

These individuals state 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’.

To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips and suggestions:

• NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.
• NPPD 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.
• Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.
• If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.