Over the past few weeks, Rocky Mountain Power customers have reported receiving a significant hike in the number of fraudulent calls from scam artists posing 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.
To date, hundreds of scam calls have been reported, targeting both residential and business customers in Rocky Mountain Power’s service area of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. So far this month, Utah has been the recipient of a 1,000 scam calls, with fraudsters insisting the potential victim pay the 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. 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 state you have recently made a payment, they may claim a payment further in the past was missed or offer to drop the amount you need to pay in order to avoid disconnection.
The scammers will often ask for payment to be made using a pre-paid gift or credit card. They will then state the payment has not gone through and ask for an alternate card in an attempt to get as many different cards as possible.
Customers can protect themselves from these types of schemes by…