By Steve Gregg
Special to The SUN
La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) is once again cautioning its members to not be fooled by any impersonator who is calling customers, claiming to be from LPEA and threatening disconnection for lack of payment. LPEA’s customer service representatives were alerted on Oct. 2 of this new effort.
LPEA’s customers are being accused of having delinquent accounts (sometimes thousands of dollars) and told that a serviceman is on the way to the location for a disconnect if the account is not settled up through a money order or immediate bank transfer over the phone.
The scammer provides names and the phone number, (866) 978-6658, with either extension 61 or 109, attempting to sound legitimate. LPEA’s customer service department called the phone number and it is answered “La Plata Electric Billing and Collections.” LPEA traced the phone call and its origin is India.
When an account is past due, LPEA customers receive a series of notices and are given adequate time to settle their bills before any disconnect would take place. If LPEA calls customers and leaves a message, it will always be LPEA’s main line, 247-5786, not a toll-free number.
If in doubt about a billing department phone call from LPEA or supposed authorized agent, customers are asked to politely end the conversation and call the LPEA customer service department, 247-5786, to clarify any billing questions. If the call is blatantly fraudulent, members should also call the local authorities.