Columbus, Neb. – Scammers are using a variety of different methods to steal money from unsuspecting victims during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
These scams range from threatening to shut a Nebraska Public Power District customer’s power off through a text message or requesting a customer to purchase a green dot card to pay a fake overdue bill. Scammers will either text or call a customer and tell them that they must pay their bill immediately or their power will be shut-off. If the customer pays a scammer using a green dot card, or other method such as wire transfer, it makes it very difficult to track or recover the money.
“NPPD has suspended all disconnects and late payment fees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and we are encouraging customers to reach out to us if they are having trouble paying their bill,” says NPPD Vice-President and Retail General Manager Tim Arlt. “Scammers will try to confuse or cause panic in order to get what they want, and it’s important for customers to know this is not how NPPD conducts business.”
Scammers will sometimes spoof their real phone number to make it appear as an NPPD number when they are making calls. They will then ask the customer to call them back using a different number in order to make the payments.
NPPD will not call or text a customer and demand payment or threaten to shut off a customer’s power. If you believe you are a target of a potential scam or are unsure if you are talking to someone from NPPD, hang up the phone and call 1-877-ASK-NPPD.