Alliant Energy has received a record number of reports from customers reporting scams., and they say scammers are getting better at impersonating utilities.
The company says from January 2016 to November 2017 it received on average 53 contacts per month from customers reporting scam activity. Since December first, Alliant Energy has received 416 reports of scam phone calls. 265 of those came from Iowa customers. Seventy-five percent of the complaints come from business customers while the rest are from residential customers.
Under the most common scenario, scammers call customers claiming to represent the utility company. They threaten to disconnect service if the customer doesn’t immediately purchase a prepaid credit card to make a payment. In one case, a customer reported receiving a text message from someone stating they work for Alliant Energy and needed a call about their bill.
Alliant Energy officials say they do not request immediate payment or prepaid credit cards and that they do not threaten to disconnect service via text message. They say they recently did begin offering account alerts by text message as an optional service. Customers must first sign up to receive the messages, which provide reminders of when the bill is due.
If you get a call that seems suspicious to just hang up. If you have a question about the status of your account you should call the number listed on your bill.