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Black Hills Energy sounds scam alert

Sep 29, 2016 - From staff and wire reports

Black Hills Energy received a report this week of a scam involving unknown parties calling customers in the Riverton area impersonating Black Hills Energy personnel and demanding money.

According to the reports, the fraudulent caller tells BHE customers their natural gas service will be disconnected if they don't pay immediately.

If you suspect fraud, immediately contact local law enforcement. Any concerns or questions about Black Hills Energy employees can be addressed by calling 890-5554. The company can confirm the legitimacy of the claim and can also confirm bill payments, service work or a service call to any address.

That holds true for any utility, for which phone numbers are available on monthly bills or the utility's website.

According to Black Hills Energy, scammers can cause caller ID displays to mimic legitimate companies, making it appear as if the call is legitimate.

The company said these scams often start with different stories and can involve any utility provider or other type of business. Regardless, the way to avoid falling victim is usually the same:

- Do not provide your Social Security number, credit card numbers or bank account information to anyone who requests that information during an unsolicited phone call or an unannounced visit.

- If someone calls claiming they represent your local utility provider and they demand immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call the customer service number on your utility bill. Do not give in to a high-pressure call seeking personal information.

- Never allow anyone into your home for an unannounced visit to check your natural gas pipesor your appliances unless you have scheduled an appointment or are aware of a confirmed problem. Any time a utility employee arrives at your door, require the employee to produce proper identification, and do not hesitate to confirm the visit with the utility company via a phone call before permitting any access to your property.

- Black Hills Energy employees carry company-issued photo identification at all times and would be happy to have you contact our customer service number listed to verify their identity.

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