The holiday season is upon us and along with the season comes a bit of holiday stress. Scammers take advantage of the hustle and bustle during this time of the year and attempt to take advantage of people by impersonating energy company personnel during the holidays.
NorthWestern Energy Manager of Customer Interactions Tricia Davis said that reports of attempted scams increase during this time of the year. She said that a scammer may contact a retail business during busy hours or a residence right before the holiday and threaten that service will be disconnected unless a “payment” is made immediately.
Davis said there are red flags all South Dakotans should be aware of to help them avoid becoming a scam victim.
Energy companies never:
Threaten their customers or demand specific payment types, such as pre-paid debit cards or third-party digital payment mobile applications.
Energy companies also do not surprise customers with a disconnection. Customers with past-due accounts will receive multiple notices before a service interruption.
State Public Utilities Commission Chairman Chris Nelson said that any phone call asking for money or cards should be considered a scam. He said if someone wants to verify their account situation, they should call the utility company at the phone number listed on their last bill.
More information on avoiding scams can be found here.