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Oronoco, MN (KROC AM News) - A southeast Minnesota electric utility has issued an advisory to its customers about another phone scam it has become aware of.

People’s Energy Cooperative has received numerous reports from customers the last few days who were targeted by scammers. People’s says each call has involved threats to disconnect electric service if they did not pay their bill immediately - over the phone.

People’s is reminding its customers that its employees will never request bank or payment information from members over the phone. Member service representatives will only ask for information to identify who a member is.

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People’s adds:

If a member receives a suspicious text message or email, remember that PEC will only send you important updates via text or email if you have signed up for our account management system, SmartHub.

The following are a few reminders published in our July 2021 Highline Newsletter on how to take control of the situation when you’ve been targeted by a scammer:

· 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.

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