This week Newport Police Officers began receiving calls about a probable phone scam. Victims were reporting that during the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend they had received calls from Central Lincoln PUD claiming they were late on paying their bill. The caller threatened residents that their power would be turned off if they did not pay immediately. The caller told resident they were associated with Central Lincoln PUD, and that a power crew had been dispatched to residents’ homes or businesses to shut off their power. The caller acted as if he was communicating with a crew in the background, and pretended he was trying to help the residents keep their power on. The caller instructed the residents to buy a pre-paid credit card, and then recite that credit card number to him over the phone.
Residents reported the number listed on their caller ID’s showed a number associated with Central Lincoln PUD. These calls occurred after the PUD business office was closed, making it impossible for the residents to contact PUD by phone to determine if there was a true problem with their bill.
Newport Police Officers contacted Central Lincoln PUD, and learned there had been at least 10 incidents of this phone scam reported over the long holiday weekend. Central Lincoln PUD advises its customers that they will never call a customer after hours or on the weekends. Also, they will never call to threaten that power will be turned off.
If you receive such a call, immediately report it to your local law enforcement agency. The Newport Police Tip line is available at 541-574-5466, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856.