Omaha Public Power District is receiving an increased number of reports of scam phone calls from our customers today. The thieves are trying to use the extreme heat to their advantage.
The scammers pose as utility employees, calling people in our area and falsely claiming they owe money on their bills. They scare them by telling them their service will be cut off if they don’t pay over the phone. Often, they try to get customers to go purchase a pre-paid debit card, such as a Green Dot card, from a nearby store and to call back with the numbers.
OPPD would NEVER cold-call customers and solicit payment in this way. And we do NOT disconnect customers in extreme heat or cold, which would put their health at risk.
Be aware, they often use “spoofing” technology so that their number on caller identification appears to be legitimate. Do not fall for this tactic.
OPPD advises customers:
- Never give personal or financial information to a stranger during an unsolicited phone call.
- If such a person should appear unannounced at one’s door, claiming to work for the utility, do not allow them inside. Always ask for identification or verification. OPPD employees always carry identification. Failure to produce identification is a tip-off to the customer that something is wrong.
- Be suspicious of any emails you receive regarding your utility bill if you have not opted in to online communications from OPPD.
- Never provide personal information via email, and do not click on suspicious links.
- Do not respond to text messages seeking personal information or utility bill payments. Do not click on links within such messages.
- Never turn off security systems for any reason if a stranger asks. Any customer who receives such a request should call law enforcement immediately.
Customers with questions about making a payment, or about their account in general, should always call OPPD directly. Within Omaha, the number is 402-536-4131. Outside of Omaha, customers should call 1-877-536-4131.