Some Nebraskans are getting phone calls — and texts — from scammers who claim to be with utilities.
The callers threaten to cut off the power if there’s not an immediate payment, sometimes for a bogus $500 fee.
MidAmerican Energy vice president Dean Crist says some of his company’s customers report more than 200 telephone scams this year.
“Sometimes the caller will give them a number to call back and verify,” Crist says. “Well, it’s just part of the scam.”
Crist encourages customers to hang up and call the number printed on their bill to determine if they are really at risk of a switch-off or owe a fine.
Interstate Power and Light Company president Tom Aller says just last week four of his utility’s small business customers reported someone calling and threatening their power would be cut off if they didn’t pay $500.
“It seems the holidays bring out the worst in people, trying to do these kind of things,” Aller says. Some customers are even getting disconnection threats via text.
“I think the technology, as it explodes, provides the folks who understand all that different ways to try to access our customer base and we’re seeing more of it,” Aller says.