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Meter-related scam calls reported by OPPD customers Thursday

Posted at 12:49 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 13:49:10-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) is warning customers to be aware of scammers making calls saying they need to pay for a meter replacement.

OPPD said they've received around 30 reports of these calls so far Thursday and the number is growing.

Other scams that are on the rise include callers that pose as OPPD reps, demanding payment for bills they claim are overdue.

According to OPPD, the scammers demand over-the-phone payment through credit, debit or checking account information.

Some scammers might instruct customers to buy a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card, and are instructed to call back with the numbers.

Callers tend to be aggressive, OPPD says, and threaten to disconnect service if customers don't pay. Typically, the scammers use spoofing technology so the calls appear to be real.

OPPD stresses that none of the individuals demanding payments work for the utility and they never cold-call customers and demand payment.

Additionally, OPPD doesn't charge for meter replacements and they don't accept payment in the form of pre-paid debit cards.

Customers should always call OPPD directly with questions. Within Omaha, the number is 402-536-4131 and outside of Omaha, customers should call 1-877-536-4131.

Customers in rural areas can talk with their local offices during business hours.

OPPD continues to advise customers:

· Never give personal or financial information to a stranger during an unsolicited phone call.

· If such a person should appear unannounced at one’s door, claiming to work for the utility, do not allow them inside. Always ask for identification or verification. OPPD employees always carry identification. Failure to produce identification is a tip-off to the customer that something is wrong.

· Do not respond to text messages seeking personal information or utility bill payments or click on links within text messages.

· Be suspicious of any emails you receive regarding your utility bill if you have not opted in to online communications from OPPD. Never provide personal information via email or click on suspicious links.

· Never turn off security systems for any reason if a stranger asks. Any customer who receives such a request should call law enforcement immediately.

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