BUTTE — NorthWestern Energy (NWE) is warning customers to be prepared for possible scam phone calls from people claiming to be from the utility company.
NWE expects customers will get calls claiming their bill is overdue and demanding immediate payment or their power will be cut off.
This type of scam is expected now that the moratorium for cutting off utility services has been lifted. But the utility is assuring customers it will not call demanding immediate payment.
“The scammers are just playing on fear. They don't have access to a database; sometimes they try to trick people into believing their account is past due when actually it isn't,” said Northwestern Energy spokesperson Jo Dee Black.
Anyone who thinks they are being scammed should immediately hang up and call NorthWestern Energy at 888-467-2669.
Here are warning signs that you may be the target of a scam:
- Threat: NorthWestern Energy never contacts any customer threatening service disconnection if a payment is not made immediately.
- Unexpected: NorthWestern Energy provides multiple notices, such as phone calls, mail and door hangers, over several weeks to customers with past-due accounts. A service disconnection is completed only after a customer receives several notifications.
- Surprise: Customers with past due balances continued to receive notices from NorthWestern Energy throughout the temporary moratorium on service disconnections voluntarily put in place in March. NorthWestern Energy customers with past-due bills will not be surprised by a notice.
- Afternoon, Friday or holiday: NorthWestern Energy does not do service disconnections: after noon; on Fridays; the day before or during holidays.