Omaha Public Power District is receiving an increased number of calls today from customers, regarding scam phone calls. More than 100 reports of aggressive callers, trying to con customers out of money have been reported today.
Spokesperson Jodi Baker says Friday's uptick may be related to publicity surrounding the forecasted snow storm for our area. OPPD says they have seen increases, previously, during or after a severe weather event. Callers may be trying to capitalize while customers are feeling vulnerable.
Baker says the scammers use “spoofing” technology so that caller identification appears to show a legitimate OPPD phone number. They pretend to be utility employees and aggressively demand payments from customers that they claim are overdue. Sometimes, they falsely claim customers need to pay for equipment, such as meters.
The scammers’ end game is to get credit, debit or checking account information from customers, or to get them to purchase a pre-paid debit card from a nearby store and relay those numbers. They usually threaten to disconnect service if customers do not pay.
OPPD stresses that none of these people demanding payments or financial information works for the utility. OPPD never cold-calls customers, demanding immediate payment.
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.
Customers in our rural areas may talk with their local offices during business hours, as well. Outside of Omaha, customers should call 1-877-536-4131.