SALT LAKE CITY -- Scammers are posing as Rocky Mountain Power representatives and demanding customers pay up or their power will be shut off, and they are targeting the elderly and businesses.
Diane Slotbloom answered one of these phone calls on a Saturday while working at Curves in Taylorsville.
"He said he was gonna turn off - they were due to turn off our power," she said, adding the man on the phone gave them 45 minutes notice. "And I thought that seemed odd, so I told him I needed to talk to the owner."
Slotbloom said she had a gut feeling something was wrong, and did not think the owner would miss a payment.
She took down a phone number she could call back, then left a message for her owner and called her manager.
The manager offered to pay with a credit card over the phone, but Slotbloom was skeptical. She said she looked up the number she wrote down on Google and it came up as a scam. To be sure, she called the Rocky Mountain Power customer service line.
"He says we're absolutely not gonna turn off your power," she told FOX 13.
Just as she suspected, the man threatening to shut off the power was a scammer.
She said one big red flag was that we was calling on a Saturday, not a typical business day. He did, however, sound very professional, she said.
Sometimes, they even leave fake automated voicemails that sound just like the real ones you may get from Rocky Mountain Power.
So what gives it away?
First, if the caller states he or she is with the "Rocky Mountain Power Disconnection Department," they are lying. That department does not exist.
If a caller asks for your credit card number or suggests you purchase a pre-paid card from a store, then call back with the code, this is also a red flag.
"Rocky Mountain Power customer reps don't deal with these payments directly. We can facilitate payment based on request with our vendor, but we're not going to be doing these payments directly and we're not going to be asking, soliciting credit card information," explained Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Tiffany Erickson.
Additionally, if a caller claims your power will be shut off if you do not make a payment immediately - "particularly if you haven't received any prior notice about late payments or a potential disconnection" - this person is likely trying to scam you.
Erickson said legitimate company representatives do not threaten their customers and will work with customers who may be behind on payments to help get them back on track. If you are past due, you will first get bills sent in the mail and a door hanger. Then a representative will call you.
A legitimate representative will be able to answer all of your questions. Ask them to state your account number and compare it with the number listed on your bill.
A Rocky Mountain Power customer service representative will always be able to verify your account number. If you are still concerned about a call, Erickson suggested you call their published, toll-free customer service number, which is 1-888-221-7070.
If you receive a suspicious call, be sure to take note of the phone number the person is calling from and any additional information that can help Rocky Mountain Power and the proper authorities track down scammers.