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NorthWestern Energy Issues New Alert about Collection Scams

Jun 01, 2015

Butte, Mont. – June 1, 2015 – NorthWestern Energy is again warning customers about a scam involving collection of allegedly overdue utility bills. A number of businesses and residential customers in the Billings area have reported receiving suspicious collection calls in recent days.

NorthWestern Energy has not received any reports of Billings-area businesses actually making payments to the scam perpetrators. But variations of the collection scam have been making the rounds across Montana cities over the past several years and a number of NorthWestern customers have lost significant amounts of money by paying the scam artists, who demand immediate payment and threaten to cut utility service.

In this latest round of fraudulent calls asks customers to call a toll-free number to make payments on overdue bills. In recent instances, the calls have asked customers to call (800) 699-5301 or (800) 391-7680. This number is not connected to NorthWestern Energy in any form.  Please verify that the number you are calling is a published NorthWestern Energy phone number.   

Once the call is placed, a recorded message answers the phone then someone claiming to be from the “collection department” will ask for credit-card information or another form of payment such as a prepaid card.  The scam calls can be very convincing. NorthWestern reminds customers to be vigilant when it comes to anyone seeking payment information on utility bills, either in person or via the telephone or Internet.

NorthWestern will provide multiple past-due notices before terminating service. If you get a cancellation notification, always verify it by dialing the customer service number on your utility bill. Don’t supply any personal information unless you are sure you are indeed working with the utility. NorthWestern never asks customers to use a prepaid debit card for payment.
Customers with questions or concerns about potential scams should contact NorthWestern Energy to report concerns or questionable calls. Montana customers can contact NorthWestern at (888) 467-2669. In Nebraska and South Dakota, customers should call (800) 245-6977.

About NorthWestern Energy
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 692,600 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.  More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at www.northwesternenergy.com.


Media Contact:
Butch Larcombe
(866) 622-8081
butch.larcombe@northwestern.com

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