Branstad, Scammers are Targeting Iowa Energy Customers
Criminals have become crafty when it comes to accessing your personal information. In a press conference Governor Branstad addressed the newest scam affecting Iowans. Branstad stated that the major electric companies in Iowa have collectively reported that more than 400 of their customers have said that this scam has happened to them.
According to Branstad the scammers are focusing on specific groups of people.
"These scams have been targeting Hispanics and other ethnic groups," Branstad says, "as well as small business customers."
And this is a rather detailed scam. It all begins when one of the scammers will call their victim and claim they are a company employee. From there they will tell the customer that they have fallen behind in paying their bill or that their system is in need more multiple, and expensive, repairs. However, instead of asking for payment on delivery, like legitimate companies would, they ask for immediate payment. From there Branstad says, "customers are then told to purchase a prepaid card to avoid having their electricity shut off." This then instill the fear in their scammers victims causing the problem.
Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds also spoke saying that Iowans need to stay one step ahead of the scammers saying, "Unfortunately they're getting smarter and more creative at finding new ways to convince consumers to turn over their personal information."
Both Branstad and Renyolds urged Iowans to remember that a legitimate will never contact you. If you have to question the legitimacy of a call like this, they recommend you hang up and call the company directly to check it was a real call.
If they type of scam has happened to you, you are asked to call 888-777-4590.
--By 1230 KFJB Reporter Katherine Fritcke