Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

July 9, 2013

Scam phone calls to utility customers continue into summer

CEDAR RAPIDS — Alliant Energy today reminded customers to be wary of scam phone calls, as complaints similar to those received in winter and spring are continuing into the summer. Similar to a scam that has been in occurring locally and nationally, customers report receiving phone calls that threaten electric service disconnection and ask them to purchase a prepaid card.

Alliant Energy does not ask customers to purchase prepaid credit cards nor make immediate cash payments over the phone. This scam appears to target Spanish-speaking customers, but can happen to anyone.

· If someone calls claiming they represent Alliant Energy and they demand immediate payment or personal information, hang up and call us. Do not give in to a high-pressure caller seeking personal information. We have several secure and convenient payment options listed at alliantenergy.com/paymentoptions.

· Beware that scammers can spoof caller-ID displays, which means they can mask the call’s true origin and make it appear as if it the call is coming from a utility company.

· 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.

· Customers should report attempted scams to local law enforcement and the Iowa Attorney General by visiting iowaattorneygeneral.org, or calling 1-888-777-4590.

Interstate Power and Light Company, based in Cedar Rapids, provides electric service to 528,000 customers and natural gas service to 234,000 customers in more than 700 communities throughout Iowa and southern Minnesota. IPL is committed to providing the energy and exceptional service its customers and communities expect – safely, reliably, and affordably. IPL is a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation, for more information, visit alliantenergy.com or call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268).

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about building code compliance. One Centerville resident at Monday's City Council meeting proposed the city create two new positions in the police department to only deal with minimum housing and nuisance abatement issues. The city currently has George Johnson as the only employee assigned to enforce building code compliance issues. Does Centerville need more than just Johnson to enforce code compliance issues? So, the question of the week is, "Should Centerville hire additional help to assist George Johnson enforce building code compliance issues?"

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