Phone calls and text messages from scammers threatening to shut off the electricity if immediate payment isn’t received has become an almost weekly occurrence.
“We get reports of scam phone calls and text messages on a regular basis. Depending on the day, the scams change slightly but typically have the same theme, which includes demands for immediate payment over the phone to avoid disconnection of electric service,” said Debra Biever, Vice President of Human Resources and Member Services.
Sioux Valley Energy urges electric utility consumers to be aware of potential scammers' suspicious calls and text messages. Be alert to the following situations via phone or other electronic devices:
- Demanding immediate payment over the phone or through a text message, threatening disconnection of electric service.
- Asking you to click on a link in a text message, stating you have over-paid your electric bill and are due a refund.
- Identifying themselves as your ‘electric utility’ or a neighboring utility instead of your actual electric service provider.
- Requesting personal identification or financial information that does not correlate with legitimate business you are conducting with your electric service provider (i.e., setting up a new service, updating an expired credit card, etc.). Occasionally, telephone surveys do take place asking questions about electric service and usage, but the surveyors will not ask for personal identification or financial information.
If the call or text message is suspicious and you don’t know if it is legitimate, hang up the phone or delete the text message. Call your electric service provider directly to discuss any billing or service issues.