NorthWestern Energy is reminding its customers to be aware of ongoing scam activity by criminals posing as utility employees as part of large collaborative effort organized by Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS).
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 is National Utility Scam Awareness Day. NorthWestern and its customers have seen scam activity across our service territory for a number of years. By being part of UUAS and Scam Awareness Day, we are working to highlight the illegal activity and help customers avoid losing hard-earned money to scam artists.
While we believe there has been progress in slowing the scam activity, we believe that Montanans have lost tens of thousands of dollars in recent years to utility scammers, who can be quite convincing and sophisticated.
A typical scam scenario involves "disconnection deception," when scammers call threatening disconnection of electric or natural gas service. They demand immediate payment of allegedly overdue bills, often with a prepaid card purchased at a store. They insist that customers call them back with card information, which allows them to remove the cash value and take the money.
These scams typically take place via the telephone and often use caller ID "spoofing," which makes it appear like a legitimate call from NorthWestern Energy or other utility.
NorthWestern will provide several past-due notices before terminating service. If you get a cancellation notification, always verify it by dialing the customer service number on your utility bill. Don't supply any personal information unless you are sure you are indeed working with the utility. NorthWestern never asks customers to use a prepaid debit card for payment.
If customers receive a suspected scam call, they should record the caller's number, hang up and call NorthWestern Energy at (888) 467-2669 in Montana and at (800) 245-6977 in South Dakota and Nebraska.
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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)
NorthWestern Corporation, doing business as NorthWestern Energy, provides electricity and natural gas to approximately 709,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. We have distributed electricity in South Dakota and distributed natural gas in South Dakota and Nebraska since 1923 and have generated and distributed electricity and distributed natural gas in Montana since 2002. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's Web site at http://www.northwesternenergy.com.