Nebraska Public Power District officials say once again, phone scammers are using the utility’s name to try to get people to part with their money, this time concentrated in the Panhandle.
NPPD spokesman Grant Otten tells us customers in Scottsbluff, Chadron and Ogallala reported Thursday an increase in callers posting as representatives of NPPD, demanding payment.
These predatory individuals state the bill must be paid immediately or the power will be shut off and will recommend several methods of payment. Sometimes the scammer’s caller-identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as ‘spoofing’.
To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips and suggestions:
• NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.
• NPPD does not demand payment with a pre-paid card.
• Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone using a credit or debit card.
• Write down the call back number or consider asking where the caller is located.
• Contact law enforcement.
• Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.
• If served electrically by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any type of payment.
An informational video concerning scam calls is currently available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=azpRmjS0hT8.
Otten says if you receive one of the calls, do not offer credit or debit card information, but inistead write down the call back number, and contact law enforcement.