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OPPD warns customers to be aware of scams during holiday season

OPPD Building
Posted at 12:45 PM, Dec 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-06 13:45:50-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) says the holiday season is prime time for scammers looking to take advantage of people and are urging customers to stay vigilant.

According to OPPD, reports of scam calls often pick up between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

Scammers typically call customers and claim they're overdue on bills and need to purchase gift cards or pre-paid credit cards to settle. Otherwise, scammers claim the power will be disconnected.

OPPD adds that recently, scam callers have been wrongly claiming customers owe money for equipment like electric meters. OPPD customers aren't responsible for such equipment.

See below for more signs of scamming from OPPD.

Misleading messages

· Making claims that customers owe money through text messaging.
· Asking customers to pay using a cash app.

Robocall robbery

· Using robocall technology to leave a message, asking customers to call back and make a payment.
· Recording and playing back authentic utility messages to sound more convincing for customers who call.

Seasonal scam twist

· Making hollow promises of a gift card in exchange for payment.

OPPD is working in partnership with other local public power utilities to raise awareness among our customers, identify scammers’ trends, and get their phone numbers shut down, when possible. We want our residential and business customers to protect themselves by remembering the following:

· NONE of these calls are from 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 never request payment via a purchased payment card.

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

· Do NOT allow entrance to such a person, without proper credentials or utility authorization, appearing unannounced at your door.

· ALWAYS ask for identification or verification. OPPD employees always carry identification. Failure to produce identification should always be a tip-off to the customer that something is wrong.

· Be wary of sales pitches from companies claiming to represent or work with OPPD.

Customers who have any questions about service, their account or bill status, or if in need of financial assistance should call us at 402-536-4131 in the Omaha calling area or 877-536-4131 outside of the Omaha area.

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