Oronoco, MN (KROC-AM News)- People’s Energy Cooperative is warning its members about a scam.

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The Oronoco-based electrical cooperative said they received multiple reports Tuesday and Wednesday from members saying they were targets of phone utility scam. The scammer called the members from a number that came up with a 507 area code and said their power would be shut off in 30 minutes without immediate payment.

People’s Energy Cooperative says their staff will never ask for a member’s banking information over the phone. They’re directing members to their online account management system for any payment-related concerns.

The cooperative is also offering tips for members who may receive the scam call.

  • Take your time: Utility scammers try to create a sense of urgency, so you’ll act fast and hand over personal information, especially over the phone.  Take a moment to think about the situation before acting.
  • Be suspicious: Scammers typically request immediate payments through prepaid debit cards or third-party apps.  Unusual requests like this should raise red flags.  Remember, if the request seems strange and out of the ordinary, you’re likely being targeted by a scammer.
  • Confirm before you act: If you’re contacted by someone claiming to represent People’s Energy or another utility but you’re unsure, just hang up the phone and call the utility directly.  You can reach us at (800) 214-2694 to verify the situation.

The Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday morning they have not received reports of anyone falling victim to the scam.

Story updated to include new information from People's Energy Cooperative, The Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. 

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