The City has received reports of a scam in which customers are being told by phone that their electric meter is misreading their consumption and needs to be replaced. The caller tells the customer that the meter can be replaced for a charge of $350.91, paid for via credit card. The scammer also says that failure to replace the meter will likely lead to a fire.
If you have questions or concerns about your power bill or meter, please call Idaho Falls Power or the City Utilities office at 612-8430, 612-8280 or 612-8144.
The city owns all of the electric meters in IFP’s service territory. Unauthorized tampering with or removal of a meter by anyone other than IFP personnel can lead to a $250 fine.
Another reported scam involves callers posing as Idaho Falls Power representatives. The scammers' tactics vary but often have a common theme: collecting immediate payment on a delinquent account.
IFP will never contact you demanding payment over the phone. All of our billing is handled through the City Utilities office, and their representatives don’t demand payment over the phone, either.
With that in mind, here are 5 red flags indicating someone is trying to scam you:
- The caller cannot provide basic account information.
- The caller demands immediate payment over the phone via credit or debit card.
- The caller provides a specific time of day when the electric service will be cut.
- The caller cannot offer payment options.
-The caller says your bill is overdue yet you’ve received no written notice.
When in doubt, hang up and call the Utilities office at 612-8280 or 612-8144 to verify the
status of your account.
With winter weather upon us, here are some tips to make sure you’re prepared for an extended power outage:
- We recommend an emergency kit with enough water and food for three days, plus a flashlight, batteries, cash and a first-aid kit.
- Make sure you have an alternate method for charging your phone or other device that requires power. If you use a vehicle, don’t let the vehicle run in an enclosed place since this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Learn how to manually open your garage door if your vehicle is parked there.
- If you have a medical condition in which you rely on electrical equipment, develop a plan to ride out the outage. Options
include purchasing a generator or back-up power supply or seeking shelter elsewhere.
- Since gas pumps don’t work during an outage, try to keep your vehicle’s gas tank full.
For more tips, go here .