Customers warned of fake utility bill scam

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MidAmerican Energy confirms it is one of several utilities whose customers could be getting phony electricity bills.

The fake bills are from scammers who may also ask for personal information such as credit card or Social Security numbers.

“(Utility) customers around the country, including some in MidAmerican Energy Company’s service territory, have started receiving a new email scam that involves fake electricity bills being emailed to customers stating that payment is due to their utility immediately,” said MidAmerican Energy Media Relations Representative Abby Bottenfield.

Some customers even receive emailed bills from electric utility companies in other parts of the country.

MidAmerican sends hard copy bills in the mail or an email message advising your statement is available if you’ve previously arranged to get your statements online.

“We do not charge customers via an email invoice,” Bottenfield said.

“If you receive an email with a bill that looks different from your normal bill, is from a different utility company, or asks for personal information like your Social Security or credit card numbers, you should delete the email immediately and not click on any links as they may contain malicious spam,” said a warning posted online by utility membership organization Edison Electric Institute.

“Electric companies will not email you with threats to pay your account – customers who are behind on their electric bills receive written notices of a possible disconnection and how to prevent it,” the post said.

Customers who are not sure if a notice they receive is legitimate should call the main customer service number listed for their local utility company.

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