Cloverland Electric Cooperative warms members to be aware of a utility bill scam, affecting thousands of consumers across the country.
The latest bill payment scam claims that money is available to help consumers pay their utility bills through a new federal assistance program from the Obama administration.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has issed a nationwide warning, saying the scammer encourages consumers to divulge social security numbers and bank routing numbers.
In exchange, consumers receive a fraudulent bank routing number and checking account number to use when paying their utility bills.
These identity theft scammers are using a variety of methods to reach consumers, including door-to-door marketing, circulating fliers, and even sending text messages.
Cloverland Electric is not aware of any members at this time who have been victimized by the scam, but urges members to stay alert.
If you receive a suspicious phone call, where you are unsure of the caller's identity and/or asked for this type of information, hang up and call the Cloverland Electric office at 1-800-562-4953.
Please notify a Cloverland member services representative.
As for some of the other solicitation methods used, the same advice holds true.
For example, never allow anyone into your home to check your electrical wiring unless you have scheduled the appointment or have reported a service-related concern to the cooperative.
Cloverland employees carry company-issued identification cards, wear Cloverland branded shirts, and drive Cloverland vehicles.
The Director of Marketing/Communications: Wendy Malaska, suggests that "if there is any doubt, call the co-op.