Scammers are back to their old tricks with another round of calls to utility customers claiming their bills are overdue. Omaha Public Power District spokesperson Jodi Baker says it is an old trick but picking up steam. OPPD received 43 customer reports of these fraudulent calls this month alone compared to 23 in March and suspect more have been contacted.
Baker says this round the scammers are targeting business owners claiming they have an overdue bill and threaten to cut off their power if they don’t pay over the phone with a debit or credit card. They also instruct customers to purchase a green dot card and call back with the numbers to make a payment. In some cases they say the customer owes hundreds of dollars.
Baker says, “They are being extra aggressive this time too. In some cases they are telling customers they want to record the call for training purposes where it makes people think they are authentic. They are also giving people a shorter time frame to pay and pressuring them to call back in 45 minutes.”
OPPD recommends never giving personal or financial information during an unsolicited telephone call. Baker says hang up and call the customer service line to check the status of your account.
Baker says unfortunately several customers have fallen victim to this scam.