Storey County residents being targeted by scams
January 8, 2014
The Storey County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents about two scams targeting seniors:
The first is about unpaid utility bills. Utility company impostors or independent “energy auditors” that tend to appear unannounced at your front door or call on the phone. They claim to be billing representatives from the utility company but are actually looking for a quick payoff. They tell you that to avoid an immediate shutoff, you need to settle an overdue bill by providing them with your credit card number or a prepaid debit card.
Most utility companies will mail at least one, if not several, past-due notices before terminating service. If you get a cancellation notification (especially by phone), always verify it by dialing the customer service number on your utility bill. Don’t give any information to the caller.
NV Energy does not call customers and solicits payments, officials said. It sends 10-day and 48-hour notices by mail for customer who haven’t paid their bills.
Field employees and contractors also must present an identification badge when asked or are never authorized to receive payment.
People who receive such a call should refuse and call law enforcement or NV Energy at 775-834-4444 if they have more questions.
The second scam is when a Canadian lottery telemarketer contacts a person. Recently a senior received a phone call from a telemarketer identifying himself as “Claim Agent Daniel Chance from Plexus Worldwide, Inc.” He provided the name of a legitimate business located in Arizona.
The telemarketer told the resident he won the Canadian lottery, but he had to send $900 via Moneygram to an address in Montreal, Canada. The scammer told the senior that the Government Taxes on his big winnings have to be collected before his $150,000 winnings could be released, the scammer also sent a phony check to cover expenses. Sheriff Gerald Antinoro says if residents are contacted by these telemarketers, they should hang up.