LPEA phone scamming moves to cell phone/text threats
Current effort threatens electricity disconnect for non-payment via cell/text
DURANGO, Colo. – La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is once again cautioning its members to not be fooled by impersonators who claim to be from LPEA and threaten disconnection for lack of payment. The current scam appears to be targeting cell phones – specifically text messaging.
“There’s always a new twist, and now they’ve moved from land line phones to cell phones,” said Ron Meier, LPEA manager of engineering and member services. “They’ve kicked their efforts up a notch because many people no longer have land lines. Threatening our members with electricity disconnection certainly is unsettling.”
Beyond not making threatening phone calls to immediately disconnect anyone’s electricity for lack of payment, Meier notes that LPEA absolutely does not send threatening text messages, and members should never enter a credit card number in response to any text that comes across their cell phone. When an account is past due, LPEA customers receive a series of written notices and are given adequate time to settle their bills before any disconnect would take place.
If receiving a questionable phone call and now text message on cell phones, demanding immediate payment, LPEA members are asked to record a call-back/text number from the presumed scammer, then call LPEA directly to see if a true issue exists with their account. If a text is blatantly fraudulent, LPEA members are advised to call local authorities.
LPEA’s Customer Service Representatives can be reached during regular business hours, Monday-Friday, at 970.247.5786 for clarification of any billing questions. LPEA members can also review the status of their account at any time online at www.lpea.coop, and click on the SmartHub icon.
LPEA, a Touchstone Energy Cooperative celebrating 80 years in 2019, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 43,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible.