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Scammers pose as employees to get debit card numbers

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A utility company is warning customers to be aware of a scam where callers pretend to be utility employees and claim customers need to make a payment.

MidAmerican Energy Company said that in August of 2013 customers in Des Moines were victims of a scam which tries to convince customers to purchase prepaid debit cards to avoid having their power shut off. The company said this particular scam has impacted Hispanic customers in the area.

The energy company is warning its customers in Sioux City and the Quad Cities to be aware of suspicious callers who claim to be from MidAmerican. The scammers pose as employees and tell the customer that they are behind on their electric bills or need equipment repairs. Warning customers that they have a limited time to make the payments before their power is shut off, the scammers convince customers to purchase a Green Dot prepaid debit card and call back with the serial number of the card.

During the week of September 9, calls were made to Sioux City and Quad Cities customers from 888-201-7958 and 888-288-5677. MidAmerican is advising customers not to return calls to these numbers or any number given by the scam artist.

Reports of a similar scam back in July of 2013 had customers giving personal information to callers claiming to be with the company. Scammers would get customers to give bank account information over the phone.

MidAmerican is reminding customers that credit card numbers and personal account information should not be given to a suspicious or unsolicited caller. Law enforcement should be notified immediately after receiving a suspicious call. MidAmerican Energy would also like to be notified at 888-427-5632. Customers can report the incident and seek assistance at that number.