As Omaha Public Power District continues to report, scammers are targeting utility customers here and across the country. And the holiday season is a particularly busy time. And now, we are learning about a new tactic – a money stealing smartphone application.
At least one customer in our area reports receiving a robocall message, falsely stating the customer was overdue on his bill and directing him to call back. The number left did not connect him with OPPD, but with a scammer who instructed the customer to download an app to make an electronic payment.
OPPD continues to work in partnership with local public power utilities to raise awareness among our customers and identify scammers’ trends. This latest tactic is one of the many ways these con-artists are stepping up their game, using technology to their advantage at customers’ expense.
We want to warn our customers not to fall for scammers’ ploys. None of these callers work for the utility. Our call center representatives would never cold-call a customer demanding immediate payment. If customers were truly overdue on their bills to the point where service could be disconnected, they would receive written notice first. Authentic utility representatives would never request payment via a purchased pre-paid credit or gift card.
More information on the scam and what to watch out for is available on OPPD's The Wire. Customers who have questions about products, services, payments, or their OPPD account in general, should always call the utility directly. Within Omaha, the number is 402-536-4131. Outside of Omaha, customers may also call 1-877-536-4131.