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WARNING: Utility scam hits Nebraska communities

September 30, 2013

In light of a recent scam that has begun to surface across Nebraska, Broken Bow Municipal Utilities and Nebraska Municipal Power Pool would like to remind customers of their payment policies. According to a recent article in NMPP's newsletter, ESSENT, a number of communities have reported receiving calls from customers who say they received calls from someone claiming to be a utility employee and threatening to shut off services until paid. The calls were placed to local businesses and restaurants, and the caller sought payment through email or over the phone. The caller's phone ID even indicated the call was made from the local utility office.

Lisa Spanel of the Broken Bow Municipal Utilities office issues this important message to local customers - payments to that office are NEVER solicited over the telephone. In fact, you can't call the office and pay your bill over the phone even if you wanted to!

Unfortunately, as with many scams, the elderly are typically targeted, as they may be more trusting of an anonymous caller posing as their local utility. Fear can also play a major part of a successful scam - after all, no one wants their power shut off!

If you should happen to receive such a call from someone claiming to be from the utility office and demanding immediate payment, DO NOT give the caller any credit card or social security information. Hang up, and report the call to local law enforcement.

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