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La Plata Electric warns of potential impersonator

La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is asking local residents to be alert for an individual (or individuals) supposedly representing LPEA, placing late-night phone calls to homeowners requesting access to property, electrical equipment and their homes.

If such a phone call is received, members are asked to note the phone number on the caller ID, if available.

Two LPEA member-customers have reported receiving late-night phone calls from ostensibly LPEA personnel because of “unusually high” electricity usage at the location. The caller spoke of helping the member-customers with an “energy assessment.”

“LPEA does not make late-night service phone calls,” said Mark Schwantes, LPEA manager of corporate services. “Further, if our members ask us to perform energy assessments to find ways to reduce their electric bills, or if in examination of their account we find something that could be questionable with our equipment, all those phone calls and appointments are done during regular business hours.”

In the event of a true electrical outage or emergency, LPEA crews will access exterior equipment on private property to affect repairs. Official LPEA personnel will inform homeowners by phone, if appropriate.

“It is very, very rare that an LPEA employee would be knocking on anyone’s door unsolicited at night,” said Steve Gregg, manager of operations. “Our employees all have photo identification badges, so if someone does come to your door stating they’re from LPEA, ask for their ID, and if they don’t produce it, close the door and call the authorities.”

LPEA asks that any additional member-customers who have recently received similar unsolicited phone calls from supposed LPEA personnel contact the cooperative, 247-5786, or if an immediate threat is perceived, contact authorities.

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