The state’s largest electric utility is warning customers to beware of an old scam that is making a comeback.
Rocky Mountain Power Monday announced that some Utah customers have been the target of a phone fraud scheme. Nearly every day in February, customers reported receiving fraudulent calls from scammers posing as utility representatives, explained Rocky Mountain Power spokeswoman Tiffany Erickson.
The callers have primarily focused on small businesses and time their calls for the weekend, insisting that customers are behind on bills, she said. They then threaten to disconnect service unless payment is made immediately, she said.
Erickson advised customers to protect themselves from fraud watching for signs that indicate phony calls, including if the caller claims to be from the “Rocky Mountain Power Disconnection Department.” No such department exists, she noted. Also, if the caller requests credit card information or instructs the customer to buy a prepaid card from a store and to call back with the code. She said the company will not ask for this information since the utility can facilitate credit card payments through its vendor when needed.
“Our employees don’t handle these payments directly,” she said.
She also noted that termination of service would not happen without prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection.
“We don’t threaten our customers,” Erickson said. “Instead, we work with customers who are behind on their payments to help them get back on track.”
Generally, notices about past due bills are mailed to customers, delivered directly to their homes or conveyed using an automated phone message, she added.
“If you receive one of these scam calls, ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill,” she advised. “Rocky Mountain Power customer service employees will always have your account number.”
Customers who receive suspected scam calls should hang up and call Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070, Erickson said. Also, take note of the phone number the person is calling from and any information that may help track down the crooks, she said.