Scam targets utility customers
with threats of power shut-off
Customers of Proctor’s Public
Utility received phone calls Tuesday telling them they are late on their bills
and their service will be shut off unless they pay up.
The caller claims they are from
Minnesota Power collection department and the electricity will be cut unless
they pay by using a credit or pre-paid debit card.
The Proctor Police Department is warning consumers
about a utility shutoff scam.
Utility consumers should be aware of this type of
phone fraud. If you are behind on a payment you would already be aware of the
situation by receiving a notice in the mail. If you do get a phone call with a
demand of utility payment, all consumers are requested to take down as much
information from the caller as possible, and then call the Proctor Police
Here are some tips from the Better
Business Bureau, attorney general’s office and the Proctor Police Department on
how to handle such calls:
- Always attempt to verify the identity of any individual
who claims to represent a business. Do not provide money, credit card
numbers, social security number or any personal information to an
unsolicited caller whose identity you are not able to verify.
- Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate
companies won't pressure you to make a snap decision.
- If you receive such call, do not make a payment by
purchasing a pre-paid debit card or other means. Immediately contact your
utility's local office to report the call and to verify your account
- If you think you paid a scammer, report that
information to the police.