Police Chief Lyle Bolkema says the scammers purport to represent MidAmerican Energy, and they inform the person that they are late on their utility bill payment, and give their intended victim a time and date when their power will be turned off. Bolkema says the scammer also gives them a telephone number to call. Bolkema says when the victim calls that number, it goes directly to voice mail and the message stated that they have reached Mid American Energy. If the victim leaves a message, the scammer calls them back and gives them instructions on how to get a money gram from Dollar General and where to send it so that their power won’t be turned off. Bolkema says that one potential victim got as far as Dollar General to buy a money-gram, but was prevented from being victimized when the Dollar General clerk told them it was a scam.
We talked to Ashton Newman of MidAmerican Energy, and she says this scam has been reported to her company by multiple Sheldon area residents over the past couple of days.
Newman tells us how to recognize a scam.
She says the scammers generally ask for immediate payment, right over the phone.
Newman says MidAmerican employees NEVER ask for personal information over the phone.
She says customers who receive a call threatening immediate disconnection should hang up immediately and call MidAmerican Energy customer service at 1-888-427-5632.