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October 28, 2015 10:50 AM

Phone scam targeting Moab utility customers

A recent case caught Mike Miller, owner/manager of The Moab Brewery at a busy time, and he almost fell prey to the deception.
“It was a busy night and I remember an initial feeling of panic when the caller said they were going to cut off my electricity in just a few minutes,” Miller said. “But thankfully my next thought was ‘what’s this – my bill is current and I’m on automatic payments.’ It just didn’t feel right. That’s when I picked up the phone and called Rocky Mountain Power. Sure enough, someone had tried to scam us hoping we’d fall for it without thinking.”
This kind of fraud is occurring nationwide, including in the Rocky Mountain Power service area. Some thieves even are using sophisticated tactics that sometimes 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, the best advice is to 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 if you suspect a call might be a scam.
“So far, this has affected a relatively small number of customers here locally, but any customer being taken advantage of in this way is one too many," said Deb Dull, Rocky Mountain Power regional business manager.
Dull explained that the company has taken a number of significant steps to address these recurring scams, including working with law enforcement at all levels.
“Working with the FBI, the company has been successful in shutting down some of these scams, but they just keep popping up all over,” Dull said.
Rocky Mountain Power offers the following checklist for customers to help them spot a scam and avoid becoming a victim.
Rocky Mountain Power will not:
• Demand payment within just a few minutes
• Accept payment at a customer’s door
• Demand that payment be made with a pre-paid card
• Disconnect a customer without first sending a 48-hour notice.
Rocky Mountain Power will:
• Ask you how you would like to pay your bill.
• Work out payment arrangements with customers.
• Refer a customer to Western Union when the customer wants to pay with a card of any kind.
• Send a 48-hour disconnection notice if the account is seriously past due.
Things customers can do to avoid being victimized by thieves running scams:
• Be wary
• Validate any call received – hang up and call Rocky Mountain Power directly at 888-221-7070; ask if there is a problem with their bill
• Don’t feel rushed
• Participate in one of Rocky Mountain Power’s automatic payment plans
• Keep account payments current
“I would tell everyone out there, if you are contacted by anyone on the phone and have any concerns at all, just hang up and call the company directly,” Miller said. “It surely saved us here at The Moab Brewery.”
Rocky Mountain Power cautions all customers to 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 immediately notify local police and report the incident to Rocky Mountain Power at 1-888-221-7070.

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