Beware of phone scam targeting utility customers
by Rocky Mountain Power
November 6, 2014
Rocky Mountain Power is warning its customers and the public of a phone scam targeting its customers with criminals posing as utility customer service agents trying to get money and to steal personal information.
The fraud is occurring nationwide, but recent days have seen an upsurge in Rocky Mountain Power’s service area. The thieves are using sophisticated deceptive tactics that make it appear to Caller ID systems that the scam call is coming from the utility even when it is not. If customers receive such a call, hang up and call the company at 1-888-221-7070 to verify the call’s origins.
Rocky Mountain Power call center agents can be reached any time, day or night, toll free at 1-888-221-7070. That is the only number to call for any customer service need or if you suspect a call may not actually be from Rocky Mountain Power.
"So far, this has affected a relatively small number of customers, but any customer being taken advantage of in this way is one too many," said Blaine Andreasen, vice president of customer service.
"We have taken a number of additional significant steps to address this latest scam approach and to protect customers from fraud attempts," Andreasen added. "We are working with law enforcement at all levels and also have increased security on our automated phone service system as a precaution to further assure that customer information is not at risk. For their own protection, customers calling about their account will need to provide their account number to gain access to account details."
In order to help customers recognize the fraudulent calls, in general, the scam goes like this:
Scammers call residential or business customers demanding payment for overdue bills. Sometimes, the caller tells the intended victim that they owe a specific amount of money. The thief advises the customer to make a payment in one of two ways: either 1) immediately on the phone using a credit card, or 2) by going to a local store to purchase a pre-paid card and calling back on a special toll-free number, made to resemble Rocky Mountain Power’s phone response system, then providing the pre-paid card’s code to the phony "agent."
Rocky Mountain Power wants customers to be aware that this is a scam and not a legitimate request. Rocky Mountain Power does not use these methods. If such a call is received, hang up and call 1-888-221-7070 to inquire about the call with Rocky Mountain Power.
When Rocky Mountain Power contacts a customer, the representative will always already 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—1-888-221-7070.
Rocky Mountain Power cautions that customers should never provide unsolicited callers or visitors with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise their financial security.
Anyone receiving such calls or other contact regarding their utility account or bill is encouraged to pay close attention and note 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, etc. – and then notify local police and report the call to Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.
About Rocky Mountain Power
Rocky Mountain Power provides safe and reliable electric service to more than a million customers in, Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. The company works to meet customers’ growing electricity needs while protecting and enhancing the environment. Rocky Mountain Power is part of PacifiCorp, one of the lowest-cost electricity providers in the United States, with approximately 1.8 million customers in six western states. For more information, visit rockymountainpower.net.