Northern Wyoming News - Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Utility company scam making its way around the Basin again


July 27, 2017

WORLAND — A utility customer scam that has been circulating for several years appears to have come back to the Big Horn Basin this summer.

In 2013, Rocky Mountain Power, in a press release stated that for the past year they have warned customers about a phone scam targeting utility customers throughout the nation, including Rocky Mountain Power customers. Unfortunately, these fraudulent calls to residential and business customers continue to occur and some have fallen victim to the scam.

On Tuesday, Thermopolis Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Meri Ann Rusch reported that she was notified by a chamber member that they had recently received one of these fraudulent, scam calls.

The thieves pretend to be utility representatives and tell customers their bill hasn’t been paid and if they don’t make an immediate payment their service will be disconnected. They try to trick customers into providing a credit card number or buying a pre-paid card and calling back with the code.

According to the release from RMP, “Be aware that if you receive such a call, it is NOT from Rocky Mountain Power. Protect yourself from scam artists by never providing unsolicited callers with credit card numbers or any other information that may compromise your financial security.”

If someone calls you claiming to be with Rocky Mountain Power [or any utility company], watch out for the following signs indicating it may be a fraud:

—If the caller says he is with the “Rocky Mountain Power Disconnection Department.” No such department exists.

—If the caller asks for your credit card number or advises you to purchase a pre-paid card from a store and to call back with the code. Our customer service employees will not ask for this information. (We can facilitate credit card payments through our vendor upon request, but our employees don’t handle these payments directly.)

—If the caller claims your electric service will be disconnected if you don’t make a payment immediately, particularly if you haven’t received any prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection. (We don’t threaten our customers and work with customers who are behind on their payments to help them get back on track. Generally, notices about past due bills are sent to customers in the mail or delivered to their home, or they receive an automated phone message.)

—Ask the caller to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill. If we call you, our customer service employees will always have your account number.

If you still have any question or concern about whether a call claiming to be from Rocky Mountain Power is legitimate, you can always call back at our published customer service number, 1-888-221-7070. It is a toll-free call and we have customer service employees available around the clock.

If you receive a call from another utility company, contact the utility company, using the phone number on your bill.

If you receive a suspicious call, take note of the phone number the person is calling from and any information that may help to track down the crooks. Please call and let your utility company know. And if you have already made a payment to an imposter, please let your utility company know and contact your local law enforcement agency.


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