Protect Yourself From Utility Scams

Your phone rings. You answer it and hear, “This is Central Lincoln calling about your past due balance. If payment is not made immediately, your power will be shut off.”

This is a scam. Central Lincoln does not do this.

The caller will usually tell you to pay by wiring money, giving them the numbers of a reloadable card or gift card, or with cryptocurrency. Scammers want you to pay using these methods because the money is difficult to track and nearly impossible to get back.

This type of call can feel very intimidating and aggressive—which is intentional. Scammers want to scare you into paying before you have time to confirm what they are telling you.

Scammers are targeting utility customers nationwide. These scams are certainly not new, but the frequency and tactics behind them are increasing at an alarming rate.

To avoid falling victim to a scam, please keep the following in mind:

  • Scammers will often say your service is scheduled to be disconnected in the next 15-30 minutes if payment is not made immediately. Fact: Central Lincoln will never contact a customer demanding immediate payment to avoid disconnection of service the same day.
  • Scammers may ask you to make a payment with a reloadable card or gift card over the phone. Fact: Central Lincoln customer service representatives cannot take card information over the phone.
  • Scammers use a deceptive tactic that makes it appear to caller ID systems that the call is coming from Central Lincoln. Fact: Make sure the number on your caller ID is ours.

If you’re ever in doubt, hang up. Log into your SmartHub account to review your billing statement or call us at (877) 265-3211.

If you believe you’ve been contacted by a scammer, please note any information you can— phone number on caller ID, addresses or call back numbers for making payments, etc.—and report it to the Federal Trade Commission.