A growing telephone scam is affecting utility customers across the country, including MVEC members. The scam involves telephone callers claiming to be from a utility company and then employing a variety of techniques to defraud customers. Some threaten customers with disconnecting electric service to their home or business if they don’t make a payment immediately.
Locally, there have been several reports of scam artists posing as MVEC and other local utilities, asking the customer to meet at a location with payment to prevent immediate disconnection.
The scammer’s methods include:
- Claiming to know the specific billing amount.
- Instructing customers to send money via a prepaid card or an online payment service, such as PayPal or GreenDot, before their power is shut off.
- Falsifying caller ID so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as “spoofing.”
If you are suspicious of any call threatening disconnection and demanding immediate payment, hang up immediately and contact MVEC about your electric accounts and payments at 952.492.2313 or 800.282.6832.
If you have been a victim of such a scam, report it to your local police department and to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Affairs Office at 1-800-657-3782 or by email at email@example.com.