Phone Scammers Targeting Local Businesses

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 phone scam appears to be targeting Durango businesses, requesting immediate payment via a GreenDot prepaid credit card.

“Every time we turn around, there’s a new twist,” said Ron Meier, LPEA manager of engineering and member services. “Today’s effort involves phone calls to local businesses – with the caller ID and phone number appearing to be from LPEA – claiming the account is delinquent.”

Meier notes that LPEA does not make phone calls threatening to immediately disconnect anyone’s electricity for lack of payment, nor demand that members get a prepaid credit card to provide funds over the 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.

“The scammers calling Durango businesses on a late Friday afternoon is apparently an attempt to panic them,” said Meier. “Our local businesses do not want to be without electricity on a Friday night or over the weekend. Rest assured, LPEA does not disconnect any member over a weekend.”

LPEA members are asked, if they get a questionable phone call demanding immediate payment, to get a call-back number from the scammer, then hang up and call LPEA directly to see if there truly is an issue with their account. If a call is blatantly fraudulent, LPEA members are advised to call the local authorities.

LPEA’s Member Services Department can be reached during regular business hours at 970.247.5786 or 888.839.5732, 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 established in 1939, provides to its more than 30,000 members, with in excess of 42,000 meters, safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost, while being environmentally responsible. To explore employment, or for additional information, visit www.lpea.coop.

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