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NorthWestern Energy Warns of Attempted Scam in Great Falls by Someone Posing as an Employee

Jun 15, 2015

Butte, Mont. – June 13, 2015 –  NorthWestern Energy is warning customers about a scam in the Great Falls area by an individual posing as a NorthWestern Energy employee.

The company was notified of the attempted scam last night from a property manager who had received a phone call from someone claiming that the meters on the property had been moved and demanded an immediate deposit be paid for the meters via Western Union or the power would be shut off.  The caller told the manager that a worker was waiting outside to do the shut off. 

The property manager observed an individual sitting in an older white pickup with a magnetic sign that had the NorthWestern Energy logo on the door outside the complex.  The driver, described as a while male in his early 50’s, left after she became suspicious and told the caller that she would call the police if he came onto the property.  She was not able to get a license plate number.  NorthWestern had not done any work at the complex, nor does the situation fit with any of our standard work practices.  

Aspects of this attempted scam closely resemble similar tactics used in other cases, but this is the first time it has ever involved an individual posing as a NorthWestern Energy employee.  If anyone has any information about this case they are asked to call the Great Falls Police Department at 406-727-7688.

Customers are reminded that 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.

NorthWestern Energy employees carry photo identification and customers are encouraged to call us to verify the employee’s identity if necessary.  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.

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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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