Utilities across the country are reporting a rise in scam artists who are using energy- related ploys to get into the bank accounts of customers. The Better Business Bureaus and state attorneys general say such schemes tend to be more common during periods when increased energy use from heating or cooling can offer higher payoffs.
Dakota Electric wants to remind members to beware of any suspicious phone calls from people asking for personal financial information. Never give out Social Security numbers, credit card information or banking information to anyone who calls, regardless of who they claim to represent.
Some red flags of a scam:
- The person demands payment in less than an hour.
- You are instructed to purchase a pre-paid cash card.
- You have not received advanced notice in writing of your “delinquency.”
- The person says they are from another utility, but calling on behalf of Dakota Electric.
Dakota Electric will never have you purchase a prepaid card and tell us the numbers over the phone.
Dakota Electric does not call members asking for financial information. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately, and contact your local police station. If you are ever in doubt, call our member services department at 651-463-6212.