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Local News

November 30, 2012

Alliant Energy warns small business customers of utility scam

CEDAR RAPIDS — Alliant Energy warns small   business customers of utility scam

Customers should not provide credit card or bank    routing numbers to suspicious callers

 

CEDAR RAPIDS — Interstate Power and Light Company, an Alliant Energy company, is warning small business customers about a recent utility scam.

The scam artists claim to be representatives of Alliant Energy. The scam involves calling small business customers and claiming that the customer is past due on their Alliant Energy bill. Customers are asked to pay their past due utility bill by providing their credit card information. The scam artists claim that if the customer refuses to provide the information, the customer’s electric service will be disconnected.

Scam artists may also attempt to convince unsuspecting customers that they can also make a utility payment by providing their bank routing numbers and account information.

Currently, the scam artists’ calls are coming from an area code that is not located in Iowa, Minnesota or Wisconsin.

Alliant Energy reminds customers of the following information when contacted about payment of their utility bills:

·Customers should only use authorized methods and legitimate banking information to pay their bills.

·Credit card numbers and any personal information should not be provided to suspicious callers.

·If asked for this type of information, customers are advised to end the conversation and call Alliant Energy at 1-800-ALLIANT (255-4268) for assistance.

·Customer service representatives can confirm whether the call was from Alliant Energy and can confirm a bill payment, service work or an appointment at a customer’s home or business.

·Alliant Energy representatives may contact customers to make arrangements on their accounts if accounts are past due. However, company representatives would not ask for customers to provide credit card or bank account information over the phone or through email.

· If a customer receives a suspicious call or other type of unusual contact, local law enforcement should be called immediately.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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