Phone Scammers Targeting Rocky Mountain Power Customers In Wyoming

Jul 2, 2020

Credit Daniel Foster/Flickr / Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

If you receive a call threatening to shut off your power, Rocky Mountain Power wants you to know it's not them calling - no matter what the caller ID says.

The electric company's customers across Wyoming, Idaho and Utah have been reporting the fraudulent activity, which has affected both residential and business customers.

Tiffany Erickson, spokesperson for Rocky Mountain Power, said scammers are asking people to purchase prepaid cards and share the card information in order to avoid an imminent shut off, but calls like that would never come from the actual utility company.

"We are not going to call and threaten our customers," she said. "You're not going to get a call threatening to shut off your power in 30 minutes. That's something that we're not going to do."

Erickson said the company will never specifically ask customers to pay via prepaid cards. If residents or business owners think they're on the phone with a scammer, it's always safest to hang up and call Rocky Mountain Power's customer service line directly.

If someone is up-to-date on their electric bill, they will probably immediately recognize the scam for what it is, Erickson said. Given the economic hardships imposed by the pandemic, though, scammers have more potential targets.

"Because of COVID and because there are some customers that may be out of work or may be struggling financially, we may have more folks that maybe actually are behind on their bills," she said.

The company received as many as 300 reports in one day, prompting them to get the word out about the scam.

Erickson said Rocky Mountain Power works with law enforcement to take down numbers being used for these scams, but when one goes down, another number comes up, in a process Erickson compared to a game of Whack-a-Mole.

The utility's customer service phone number is (888) 221-7070.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Jeff Victor, at jvictor@uwyo.edu.