Utility customers warned of nationwide phone scam
by Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas media release
March 8, 2013
Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas are warning their customers of a phone scam targeting utility customers in many states, where crooks posing as customer service agents are trying to steal personal information.
Scammers call customers claiming to be from their electric or natural-gas company. They tell the potential victim they have not paid for their service and are in jeopardy of being disconnected. The caller advises the customer to make a payment either immediately on the phone, by calling a special number or by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.
Utility customers should be aware this is not a legitimate request and Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas do not follow this practice.
If Rocky Mountain Power or Questar Gas contacts a customer, the representative will always have the customer’s account number. Even then, if you are contacted by phone and have any concerns about the validity of the call, it is always appropriate to let the caller know you prefer to call them back at the utility’s published customer service number.
Rocky Mountain Power can be reached any time, toll free at 1-888-221-7070.
Questar Gas can be reached any time, toll free at 1-800-323-5517.
Fraudulent calls have been made to the homes and businesses of Rocky Mountain Power customers. The calls are similar to those the company warned its Spanish-speaking customers about last summer.
"These scammers are in no way associated with our company and we take very seriously any efforts to defraud our customers, especially using our company’s good customer relationships and reputation," said Karen Gilmore, Rocky Mountain Power’s vice president of customer service.
"We want to remind customers to be vigilant when anyone calls and requests account information and credit- and debit-card numbers," said Brad Markus, Questar Gas general manager of customer relations. "We have been informed some utilities in other states are experiencing an increasing number of incidents where impostors end up stealing money from customers."
Customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security. Switching to paperless billing may also provide more security by avoiding potential theft of utility bills from the mail box or trash can.
Anyone receiving such calls or other forms of contact regarding their utility bill is encouraged to pay close attention to any information – such as the phone number they are asked to call, a number that appears on caller ID, an address where they’re told to send money, or even vehicle license plate numbers – and to report the incident to local police and their utility provider.