Mark Becker, a spokesman for NPPD, says the scammers will call and claim you’re overdue on bills that must be paid immediately with a prepaid card or the power will be shut off within 20 minutes.
“In reality, they don’t owe anything on their bill,” Becker says. “It’s a slick way to be getting money out of people when they shouldn’t be paying up.”
Becker says customers in several communities across the state report getting the calls. He says utility companies will almost never call customers to tell them about overdue charges.
“NPPD, for example, will have it printed on an individual’s bill when it goes in the mail to them,” he says. “These people are basically saying, too, if you don’t pay, ‘We’ll have the sheriff there,’ and that’s not the way utility companies operate.”
Becker says anyone who gets a suspicious call should hang up and contact their utility company directly and also let law enforcement know about the call.
He says under no circumstance should you pay without first contacting your utility provider.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton