Beware of Utility Scams During COVID-19 Outbreak

Friday, April 10, 2020
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The Iowa Utilities Board is aware of potential payment scams during the public health emergency from the COVID-19 outbreak, including calls or unscheduled visits by persons targeting utility service and claims of service disconnection. With many people working from home — and possibly answering calls from unfamiliar phone numbers, be aware these might be from a robocaller or scammer. The following links provide customers with information and tips to avoid being a target of a utility related scam:

 https://www.utilitiesunited.org/  

https://www.midamericanenergy.com/scams-dos-and-donts  

https://www.alliantenergy.com/CustomerService/ForYourSafety/HowtoSpotaScam  

The IUB reminds utility customers to never provide credit card numbers or other personal information when receiving suspicious contact or demands for immediate payment.

Iowa utility companies are required to provide advance notice to customers in the event of potential service disconnection. Customers who are concerned about a potential scam should first contact their utility company at the telephone number located on their utility bill, or contact the customer service number on their utility website to confirm if any claim for payment is legitimate, and to confirm a utility service appointment and verify the identity of the person claiming to be from the utility company. If the customer feels that the claim is fraudulent, or feels threatened by aggressive or high-pressure tactics for payment, the customer should immediately end the contact and call local police or 911.

Customers can also report suspicious scam activity to the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General's Office or by calling 888-777-4590.

For more information on utility related scams, visit the websites of the following utility companies:

MidAmerican Energy Company

Alliant Energy-Interstate Power and Light Company

Black Hills Energy Company

Iowa American Water 

Printed from the website on May 29, 2020 at 12:07pm.