Local News

COLUMBUS — As Nebraska Public Power District installs new, upgraded digital meters around the state, scammers are trying to take advantage of customers by threatening them with shutting off their power.

NPPD received several reports Wednesday of scammers calling both NPPD customers and customers of other public power districts across the state. The scammers pose as NPPD representatives and tell the customers they will shut off their power if they do not pay hundreds of dollars for their “new” meter.

“NPPD is currently in the process of installing digital meters in several communities across the state, and there is no charge to the customer when this work is done,” said Tim Arlt, NPPD vice president and general manager of retail. “Anyone who receives such a call should not let their guard down and should contact our team and law enforcement immediately. Protecting our customers is a top priority.”Sometimes the scammer’s caller identification is falsified so it appears to originate from the utility company, a practice known as spoofing.

To help customers be wary of such scams, NPPD offers the following tips:

» NPPD, as a business practice, does not call to ask customers for a credit card number.

» NPPD does not demand payment with a prepaid card.

» Any customer receiving such a call should not attempt to make payment over the phone using a credit or debit card.

» Write down the call-back number or consider asking where the caller is located.

» Contact law enforcement.

» Let NPPD’s Centralized Customer Care Center at 1-877-ASK-NPPD (877-275-6773) know about the call.

» If served by a rural public power district or municipality, customers should contact that organization before providing any payment.

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