LINCOLN — ‘Tis the season for scams and Lincoln Electric System wants its customers to be vigilant and prepared.
Most utility scams involve criminals posing as electric, gas or water provider employees — either in person or over the phone or internet — and demanding immediate payment via cash or reloadable debit cards, to prevent service disconnection. They can be very convincing, and often target those who are most vulnerable, including the elderly and non-native English speakers.
“We urge customers to protect themselves from this fraudulent activity,” said Lisa Hale, LES vice president, Customer Services. “LES will never call or show up at a customer’s property to demand immediate payment.”
Customers who believe they have been targeted by utility scammers should:
- Hang up the phone or close the door, and call LES’ verified direct phone number: 402-475-4211.
- Do not give the caller or visitor a prepaid card, such as a Green Dot card, a wire transfer or any other form of payment that may be difficult to trace.
- Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, usernames, passwords, credit card numbers or your Social Security number.
- Delete any emails from utilities that are not your service provider.
- Delete all suspicious emails that require immediate action to verify or demand personal information.
Contact your local police through the non-emergency telephone number or your state attorney general’s office, or contact the FTC at FTCComplaintAssistant.gov.
If you have questions about the authenticity of communications from persons claiming to be utility representatives, please contact LES directly.