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LPEA phone scam targets elderly residents

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Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 3:38 PM

La Plata Electric Association is warning members of a recently reported phone scam and asks people to beware of a caller who threatens disconnection for lack of payment.

The current scam targets senior citizens and involves a caller who requests that members pay over the phone with a bank debit card to avoid having their electricity shut off.

"Senior citizens are often vulnerable to experienced, convincing phone scammers, so we want to make sure our members understand that LPEA representatives, in compliance with regulations, do not collect payment information such as credit or debit card numbers over the phone," Linda Looman, LPEA manager of customer service, said in a news release. "Because they now appear to be targeting seniors, we ask children, neighbors and caretakers of our seniors to be aware and caution their family and friends."

LPEA members who receive questionable phone calls that demand immediate payment should attempt to get a callback number from the scammer, hang up the phone, then call LPEA to check their account.

If a call is blatantly fraudulent, LPEA members should call 385-2900 to alert local authorities.

LPEA does not call its members to threaten a disconnection for lack of payment, Looman added. When an account is overdue, customers receive a series of written notices and are given adequate time to pay bills before services are disconnected.

For more information, call 247-5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.

fstone@durangoherald.com

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