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Scammers target Black Hills Energy customers - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Scammers target Black Hills Energy customers

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COLORADO -

After a tip of a possible scam targeting Black Hills Utility customers, a News 5 viewer in Pueblo came to us for help.

79-year-old Sonja Melton was concerned when someone claiming to work with Black Hills Energy called and threatened to cut her power off unless she made a payment to another phone number.

This was especially suspicious considering she's never been late on a payment to her utilities company: Black Hills Energy.

So when a caller demanded additional payment, threatening to cut off her power supply within 45 minutes if she didn't comply, Melton was initially baffled.

"That one sounded more real than any of the [scam calls] I've gotten," Melton said.

The caller ID also showed a number for the customer service line at Black Hills Energy.

But Melton quickly got off the phone and contacted Black Hills Energy's customer service line, who confirmed she'd just been called by scammers.

"This is an attempted scam by someone who is trying to obtain information or money from the customers," confirmed Julie Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Black Hills Energy.

We tried calling the number the caller gave Melton.

The first time I called, an operator claiming to be with a different company answered.

The second time, there wasn't an answer at all.

Black Hills Energy wants its customers to know, a demand for payment like this, should put you on high alert.

"We wouldn't be calling them and telling them you have an hour or less to pay your bill," added Rodriguez.

Black Hills customers are supposed to get three notifications before any action is taken by the company.

Knowledge that Melton says could make all the difference, especially for the elderly.

"I just worry about them falling into a trap with all of this, I could've fallen for it."

You can report any potential scam calls claiming to work for Black Hills Energy at their customer service line: 1-888-890-5554.

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