March 24, 2020

Watch out for email and phone scams

Scammers targeting Otter Tail Power Company customers

Otter Tail Power Company is aware of recent scam activity in parts of its service area. “Scammers are taking advantage of potentially heightened anxiety around the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Customer Care Supervisor Collin Kremeier. “It’s important for our customers to know that we’ll never pressure you to make immediate payments, especially through services like MoneyPak, MoneyGram, or pre-paid credit cards.”

Otter Tail Power Company continues to put the health and safety of its employees and customers first—while it continues to maintain reliable electric service in the region. As always, the company is working with its customers to address specific concerns.

Kremeier outlines these red flags if you receive suspicious contact from a possible scammer:

  • The caller says he or she works for Otter Tail Power Company or a collection agency and your electricity is about to be shut off—even though you know you’ve paid your bill.
  • The caller references a phony bill date, account number, or balance. Otter Tail Power Company doesn’t offer this information over the phone and only will validate what customers provide.
  • If the scam surfaces via email, the message does not mention Otter Tail Power Company yet contains a clickable link that supposedly would allow you to view your bill.

Use these tips to help protect yourself:

  • Don’t call back the number the scammer provided, as scammers can spoof the company’s phone number, making it appear as though the call is coming from Otter Tail Power Company. Contact the company directly at 800-257-4044 or check your account using the company’s website, otpco.com.
  • Only share information by phone if you’ve initiated the call.
  • Don’t click on links in or reply to a suspicious email.
  • Never share business or personal information by email.
  • Contact your financial institution if you shared banking or credit card information.
  • Report illegal activity to local law enforcement and to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-FTC-HELP.

“An Otter Tail Power Company Customer Service Representative may call to remind you to make a payment—but never will ask to process your payment on the call,” said Kremeier. “Please call us with questions about your account or to set up payment arrangements. Stay well during this difficult time.”