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Stanton customers affected by utility scams

March 4, 2018 GMT

Black Hills Energy recently has received customer reports of late bill payment scams.

The scam involves customers being told they are past due on their account, and without immediate payment, their service will be disconnected. Currently the company has received notice that these calls have been made in Omaha, Plattsmouth and Stanton, however, all natural gas customers should practice precaution.

“Individuals claiming ties to the utility may threaten to disconnect service if they are not paid immediately or may say you’ve overpaid and must provide personal bank account or credit card information for a refund,” said Jeff Sylvester, vice president of operations for Black Hills Energy in Nebraska. “If your account is at risk of service disconnection or you’re due a refund, we will issue advance written notices by mail.”

Sylvester said Black Hills Energy advises customers with concerns to call the service associates at 1-888-890-5554 to verify the legitimacy of requests for payment history, amounts due or whether an employee was dispatched to their location. Payment options and account access are also available at blackhillsenergy.com.

“Beware, as perpetrators are becoming more sophisticated, manipulating caller ID or leaving a call-back number with a recording that mimics a utility’s phone system message and options,” Sylvester said.

Additionally, Black Hills Energy urges customers with concerns about the identity of someone claiming to represent the company to call Black Hills Energy’s 24-hour emergency line at 800-694-8989 to verify employment. Calling local law enforcement is also an option.