Between the lines: Look out for scams

Dawson Public Power District General Manager Gwen Kautz.

Dawson Public Power District General Manager Gwen Kautz.

By Gwen Kautz, General Manager
gkautz at dawsonpower.com
308-324-2386

You can’t watch the news without at least one story about data breaches or scammers who take advantage of people’s trust. In my own family, we experienced this first hand this past month.

An elderly person who grew up knowing a simple handshake meant there was a solid agreement or a young person whose life experiences have not encompassed things that teach us to beware. These two groups are the most vulnerable. Your elderly parents AND your young-adult children all want to be independent, so they trust the caller and want to do the right thing.

These things have caused problems in my own life where my trusting nature is now one of skepticism. I’m always looking for the hidden agenda. This approach is not a bad one, but it shouldn’t be necessary. I hear about these scams and I shake my head and mumble: “Why can’t they get a real job like the rest of us?”

Unfortunately, in today’s world, scams are inevitable. Scammers can threaten you with everything from legal action involving the IRS to turning off power to your home.

Utility scams often involve an individual or group posing as an employee of Dawson PPD. The scammer may use threatening language in order to frighten you into offering your credit card or bank account information. Don’t fall victim to these types of scams. Understand the threats posed and your best course of action:

  • If someone calls your home or cell phone demanding you pay your electric bill immediately, gather as much information as you can from that individual, hang-up the phone and contact the local authorities.
  • Scammers often use threats and urgency to pressure you into giving them your bank account number or loading a pre-paid credit or debit card.
  • We will never ask you to offer up personal finance information over the phone. If you have any doubts about your utility bill, contact us at 308-324-2386.

There are other types of scams consumers should watch out for:

  • Government agencies like the IRS will never call to inform you that you have unpaid taxes or other liens against you. You will always receive this type of information in the mail. If someone calls claiming to be the IRS, hang-up immediately.
  • If you receive an email from an unknown sender; an email riddled with spelling errors and typos; or an email threatening action unless a sum of money is paid, do not click any links provided within the email, and do not respond to the email. Simply delete the email, or send it to your spam folder.
  • If someone calls your home claiming to have discovered a virus on your computer, hang-up. This caller’s intent is to access personal information you may be keeping on your computer.

Dawson PPD wants to make sure you avoid any and all types of scams that could put you or your financial information in jeopardy.

 

September 2019

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