Scammers use new meter installations to target customers

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 6:51 AM CST
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The Nebraska Public Power District is working to install new, upgraded digital meters around the state, which has given scammers the chance to threaten people with the prospect of shutting off their power.

NPPD received several reports Wednesday of scammers calling NPPD customers and customers of other public power districts trying to extort money.

The scammers are posing as NPPD representatives and telling customers they will shut off their power if they do not pay hundreds of dollars for a "new meter".

"NPPD is currently in the process of installing digital meters in several communities across the state, and there is no charge to the customer when this work is done," says NPPD Vice-President and General Manager of Retail Tim Arlt. "Anyone who receives such a call should not let their guard down and should contact our team and law enforcement immediately."

Scammers 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 ID is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, something referred to as "spoofing".

NPPd will not ever demand payment with a pre-paid card. Any customer receiving a call they believe is a scam should not make or attempt any payment.

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