Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative is warning their customers about two phone scams circulating aimed at stealing a person's identity.
Officials from the National Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (NRECA) alerted the co-op to the scams recently that are affecting customers of other co-ops, as well.
NRECA received reports from various states where consumers have gotten phone calls from individuals asking for credit card, financial account information and personal identification information.
"There is at least two varieties of this phone scam being reported," according to Howell-Oregon Electric. "One is saying that the consumer owes on his or her account and will have service shut-off unless payment information is provided immediately. The second appears aimed more specifically at seniors where the caller claims the consumer can receive federal stimulus dollars to pay their utility bills or some sort of bill credit, but the consumer must first provide his or her personal information including their social security number."
"Anytime concerns like this arise, Howell-Oregon Electric wants to make sure that our members are aware of the potential fraud and take necessary actions to avoid becoming a victim of fraud," Myles Smith, manager of Member Services at Howell-Oregon Electric, said.
Howell-Oregon Electric members may contact the co-op during regular business hours with questions regarding this issue, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 417-256-2131 or 1-888-463-7693.