Beware of utility bill payment scams
Omaha, Neb.– Metropolitan Utilities District (M.U.D.) customers were recently targeted by what is referred nationwide as the “Green Dot Scam.” If customers believe that they have been the target of a scam, they are encouraged to contact 911.
M.U.D. may contact customers about their service, however there are a couple items to remember:
- You have the right to tell the M.U.D. employee calling that you would like to call M.U.D. back to verify the information being presented. The contact number for Customer Service is 402.554.6666.
- We will not demand a particular form of payment. All customers have the ability to pay M.U.D. using any form of payment we accept. M.U.D. offers a variety of bill payment options, including:
- On-line at myaccount.mudomaha.com. You may register and log-in to see more account information or you may make a one-time payment. Visa or Mastercard credit/debit cards accepted.
- Call 402.554.6666 and follow the automated menu to make a payment. (If you prefer, you may speak to a customer service agent).
- Sign up for the Bank Draft Plan to have your bill automatically paid via your financial institution every month. Visit M.U.D.’s website at www.mudomaha.com, click the Customer Service tab and look under Related Resources for the form. You may also call 402.554.6666 to sign up for this convenience.
- Mail your payment with your bill remittance.
- Bring your payment to our downtown office, 1723 Harney St. We also have an overnight drop box.
- Drop off your full payment at OPPD, Hy-Vee stores or banks. For a list of locations that accept payments, visit M.U.D.’s website at www.mudomaha.com and click the Customer Service tab.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert on the scam, summarized here:
- A customer receives a telephone call from an individual claiming to be from a utility company. The caller indicates that the customer’s power, water, or gas will be turned off within a short period of time if they do not immediately make a payment. The callers are able to manipulate the Caller ID on the customer’s phone so that it appears as though the call is actually coming from the utility company.
- The caller then tells the customer that payment is only accepted through the purchase of a “Green Dot” pre-paid debit card, typically available at Walgreens, CVS, or RiteAid.
- The caller provides the customer with a number to call to make the payment once they have purchased the Green Dot card. Or, the caller calls the customer back so they can make their payment and does not give them a number.
- Once the customer has provided the caller with the Green Dot payment information, their money is gone permanently. This differs from previous similar scams that allowed for credit card or checking account payments which provided the customer with some ability to recoup their money following the scam.
A utility company from the New York area reported more than 6,000 of its customers were targeted by the Green Dot Scam. Suspects have been identified, however arrests appear to be unlikely. Link to the FTC alert: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/09/utilityscam.shtm
M.U.D. is the only metropolitan utility district in the State of Nebraska, serving 600,000 people or approximately one-third of the state’s population. We are a public utility and proud to be customer-owned. M.U.D. is governed by a board of seven directors, elected by our customer-owners. As the fifth largest public gas utility in the United States, we provide a product and service at rates that are among the lowest in the Midwest. We also provide safe drinking water to Omaha and surrounding communities. For the latest news and alerts, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.