Be on alert for possible scams
October 3, 2017
A Lake Country Power member has reported being “spoofed” by a call that displayed a cooperative phone number in the caller ID. Please, do not give out private information over the phone. LCP employees will never ask you for sensitive information, nor will they solicit goods, over the phone.
If you receive a call from Lake Country Power that you didn’t initiate, or that seems suspicious, please hang up and call us back at 1-800-421-9959 to speak to a co-op representative.
Article from previous 2016 edition of Newsline
The number of phone scams to Lake Country Power members and other area utility customers still happens periodically. Co-op members should remain cautious about suspicious requests for information.
Scammers prey on unsuspecting consumers instructing them to give banking information over the phone to prevent being disconnected of service. They use threats to disconnect service within a matter of hours if payment isn't provided over the phone.
Residential members are not the only targets of this particular scam. Commercial members also reported being scammed by an unknown party requesting payment through a service to prevent disconnection.
"We will not call members asking for banking information over the phone," said Mark Bakk, director of finance.
Scammers are using various tactics to con consumers into providing payment. Posing as utility employees, scammers have been known to:
- Tell intended victims their accounts are past due and threaten to disconnect their utility service if they do not make payments immediately.
- Require victims to pay using a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card.
- Manipulate caller ID to display a fake number, which may actually be your utility’s number. This is called “spoofing.”
- Email customers phony utility bills that appear to be from an energy provider with an account number, amount due, due date and a link to make the payment.
Protecting personal and financial consumer data is a top priority for Lake Country Power. If members are behind on their electric bill, you will receive a written notice before service disconnection. Consumers who have not received a disconnection notice in the mail should not engage anyone on the phone or by email demanding to take payment. Instead, members should hang up and contact Lake Country Power to verify account status and report the attempted scam. They are also encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement.
If it just doesn’t feel right, “slam the scam” and end the conversation.