Rocky Mountain Power says beware of scams

Utah Power lineman work in Salt Lake City, Utah, November 29, 2005. Photo by John Gress

SALT LAKE CITY – For those that use Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) beware of scammers going after customers’ money.

Internet fraud and a look at who’s most likely to be victimized are the topics of a new study by AARP. The group also offers free resources to help people avoid scams, online and elsewhere. Photo courtesy CDC.

Recently, the power company reported they received a significant increase in the number of fraudulent calls from scam artists. They pose as utility representatives.

Reports indicate the caller insists the customer is behind on their bill, then demands payment to prevent having their power shut off,” Jason Lee, media relations for RMP, said. “To date, hundreds of scam calls have been reported targeting both residential and business customers in RMP’s service area of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming.”

Scammers are getting more sophisticated. Utah alone was the recipient of 1,000 scam calls last month with fraudsters pressuring the potential victims to pay their bill using a prepaid card, then share the code.

“The scammers use ‘spoofed’ numbers that show up on the caller ID to disguise their actual phone numbers,” he said. “Many of the calls begin with an automated recording stating the call is coming from Rocky Mountain Power/Pacific Power. You are then asked to make a selection and then are transferred to a live person.”

If you tell them you’ve recently made a payment, they may claim a payment was missed or offer to drop the amount you need to pay in order to avoid disconnection.

Scammers often ask for payment to be made using a pre-paid gift or credit card,” Lee said. “It is important to recognize they will attempt to get as many different cards as possible by telling you the charge didn’t go through.”

RMP officials want customers to protect themselves from any schemes by being aware of the following facts:

  • The power company does not contact any customer demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection of service the same day.
  • They do not ask customers to make payments by purchasing a prepaid card.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who approaches you by phone, email, text or in person and demand on-the-spot payment.
  • If you receive a calls and you want to be sure your dealing with RMP the best thing to do is ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill.
  • RMP customer service employees will always have your account number on hand.
  • Scammers may use a sophisticated deceptive tactic that makes it appear to caller ID systems that the call is coming from RMP when it is not. Hang up and call customer service directly.

Remember, if there are any concerns about the legitimacy of a call, always call back using the power company’s published customer service number at 1-888-221-7070.

RMP wants customers to report any scam calls received, including the phone number the person is calling from and any other information that may help to track down the fraudsters.

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