Marshall Municipal Utilities and the Marshall Police Department advise consumers to be on their guard against deceptive telephone calls placed under the guise of being on behalf of a utility seeking immediate payment for an "overdue" bill.
In this criminal activity, an individual will call a customer of a utility company and represent they are calling from the company. This utility "representative" threatens that the electric service to the home or business of the customer will be disconnected unless they make an immediate payment. To avoid a disconnection, the customer is told they must pay this "overdue utility bill" by means of an on-line payment service or a prepaid credit card. Of course, the funds are, in fact, directed to the scam artist's operation.
If a customer is suspicious of any call threatening disconnection and demanding immediate payment, they should hang up and directly call Marshall Municipal Utilities' customer service department at 507-537-7005 to ensure they are in fact speaking with an actual MMU representative. The Marshall Police Department is also requesting that customers report the call to one of their investigators. The MPD's telephone number is 507-537-7000.
A customer can also contact the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding this type of activity. The Commission's Consumer Affairs Office can be reach in the metropolitan area at 651-296-0406, toll free at 1-800-657-3782, or by e-mail at email@example.com.