Millions of Americans are targeted by scammers every day. Most of these scams are conducted electronically, through phone calls, emails, and texts. Caller ID and email spoofing tricks users into thinking that messages come people or entities they trust.
Scammers’ tactics can change daily, which is why it’s important for consumers to stay on top of the latest scam reports from local news outlets and Loup Power District or your local utility.
This is espe
TYPES OF SCAMS
Overdue Bill & Disconnection Threats
A scammer may claim you are overdue on your electric bill and threaten to disconnect your service if you don’t pay immediately. Whether this is done in person, by phone, text, or email, the scammers want to scare you into immediate payment so you don’t have time think clearly.
Sometimes they will instruct you to pay immediately by wire transfer, gift cards, or cash reload cards. This should immediately raise red flags.
If you are contacted by a scammer over the phone, simply hang up. If you’re concerned about your bill, call us at 402-564-3171 or your local office. If you are contacted by email or text, delete the message before taking any action.
Remember, Loup employees will never demand immediate payment or threaten disconnection after just one notice.
Some scammers may falsely claim you have been overcharged on your bill and say they want to give a refund. It sounds easy. If you proceed, you will be prompted to provide banking or other personal information. Scammers say they will deposit the credit back to your checking account. Instead, the scammers can drain your account and use personal information such as a social security number for identity theft.
If this “refund” scam happens over the phone, just hang up and block the phone number to prevent future robocalls. If this scam attempt occurs via email (known as a phishing attempt) or by text (smishing), do not click any links. Instead, delete it and block the sender if possible.
If you do overpay on your energy bill, Loup will automatically apply the credit to your next billing cycle.
Defend Yourself Against Scams
Here are a few reminders on how to take control of the situation when you’ve been targeted by a scammer:
- Take your time. Utility scammers try to create a sense of urgency so that you’ll act fast and hand over personal information, especially over the phone. Take a moment to think about the situation before acting.
- Be suspicious. Scammers typically request immediate payments through prepaid debit cards or third-party apps. Unusual requests like this should raise red flags. Remember, if the request seems strange and out of the ordinary, you’re likely being targeted by a scammer.
- Confirm before you act. If you’re contacted by someone claiming to represent Loup or another utility but you’re unsure about their true identity, just hang up and call Loup directly.