LINCOLN — Lincoln Electric System is asking customers to stay alert for scammers. Reports of scams in the LES service area are more common during the last quarter of the year.
“During the holidays, consumers are online more to shop, and scammers are quick to take advantage of that,” said Lisa Hale, LES vice president of Customer Services. “Pay attention to who is sending you emails or texts, and don’t click on links unless you know the sender.”
Scammers can fake emails, Wi-Fi networks and phone numbers. Historically, they threaten to disconnect power unless customers make an immediate payment using the payment system Zelle. Sometimes, the bad actor will even instruct the customer to set up the payment system. Other scam tactics include using automated “robo” calls, spoofing phone numbers, requesting payment by gift cards or prepaid debit cards or even offering a discount if paid immediately.
Keep the following tips in mind:
- LES will not contact you via phone, threatening to disconnect service or asking for immediate payment. The utility uses disconnect notices and reminders on bills for delinquent accounts, door hangers for service terminations and email/text alerts for those who opt in.
- No legitimate utility will ask for gift cards, prepaid cards or money transfers as forms of payment.
- Maintain good cyber hygiene by avoiding suspicious emails, especially ones that ask you to do something right away or require personal information, and avoid using public Wi-Fi when conducting sensitive activities online.
- LES does not use automated “robo” calls requesting customers call back to make a payment.
- When you call the LES customer care center, LES will only ask for account information to confirm your identity. Never give your financial or account information to someone who calls or emails you.
If a call seems suspicious, hang up and do not give any information. Report it to the attorney general’s office immediately. If you did provide information, call the police department’s nonemergency telephone number to report the scam.
“At LES, we are happy to take your call or email if you are ever in doubt,” Hale said.
If you have any questions about your account or would like to verify its status, access your account at LES.com or contact LES directly by emailing [email protected] or calling 402.475.4211, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.