I've definitely seen a rise in the number of questionable calls and texts I've received in the last few weeks. For the calls, I can't say that they're ALL attempted scams since I usually recognize they're from a call center and hang up before they can give me their complete pitch. Maybe some are valid...but I'm not sticking around long enough to find out. Lately, I've been getting a lot of random texts about tracking packages I didn't order and claiming I'm entitled to refunds for things that don't apply to me. They're so obviously phony that it makes me wonder why these scammers waste their time - but I guess they wouldn't keep doing it if they weren't able to keep tricking people.

The same scam is happening around Montana

I saw four stories today that were alerting different parts of Montana to phone scams. Four! Three of them were pretty much the same thing - somebody calling and claiming to be from the power company in an attempt to scare customers into making phony payments. Reports from Hamilton and Butte have callers pretending to be from NorthWestern Energy while Kalispell has seen the same thing with scammers calling Flathead Electric Cooperative members. The caller will usually make a claim that the account is behind in payment and demand a credit card number or other financial information. They threaten to shut off the power unless an immediate payment is made. The callers know the name and address of the people they call, which makes it all seem a bit more believable.

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No, they won't just cut your power after a surprise phone call

If you receive any call that claims to be from a service provider - and it seems a bit fishy - you're advised to hang up and call the company directly. And when it comes to power providers, you would have prior communication and numerous warnings before they were to call and threaten to cut your power. You know the drill, don't give out any personal info or payments when you have any bit of doubt about who is on the other end of the phone.

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